How benefits and HR tech companies are responding to coronavirus
Health insurance, benefits and HR platforms are changing the way they operate in response to COVID-19. These platforms are at the forefront of helping businesses, HR professionals and benefits brokers navigate unprecedented challenges brought forth by the pandemic.
“[Carriers] are accelerating the onboarding of customers so that they can have earlier access to telehealth,” says Michael Levin, CEO of Vericred, a data company that supports HR and benefits administration platforms. “Most important to understand is that they're doing this while many of them themselves are furloughing or laying off some of their own staff in order to meet their own challenges.”
On the carrier side, Vericred is seeing different dynamics emerge that are coronavirus specific. For example, a number of carriers are allowing employees who've been furloughed to remain on group insurance, are waiving costs for testing and treatment of COVID-19, and are making exceptions for payment methods.
“You've got a lot of small employers who shouldn't be going to their offices, and don't have access to their checkbooks and systems [at home],” Levin says. “So we're increasingly seeing a number of the carriers accept credit cards as a means of payment and it's all in response to COVID.”
Some carriers have also created a special enrollment period so that companies that are seeking to provide coverage — but perhaps can't afford the same level of coverage as before — can step into a different plan, Levin says.
Levin shared other methods Vericred’s customers are implementing to counteract the coronavirus pandemic: