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Life and Health


By February 1, 2012No Comments

There is very little that can’t be done online these days. From buying clothing and food, to attending college, to connecting with friends (and even finding a soul mate), almost anything can be done online. But old habits die hard, and some businesses haven’t yet cut the apron strings of time consuming, wasteful paperwork. A perfect example: Insurance applications. Virtually every aspect of obtaining, updating , and even terminating insurance, can be done online. However, companies across the globe are either unaware of this convenience, or are simply too comfortable with the routine of paperwork they have become accustomed to over the years. Employers want the easiest, most streamlined and efficient process possible when it comes to this otherwise lackluster aspect of doing business — but they don’t always know how to get it.

Especially in smaller companies where the employees and management are all relatively familiar with one another, the intimacy of Health insurance application questions can be embarrassing for employees. Medical history is very private, and if an employee doesn’t want her boss to know about a particular pre-existing condition, she has little choice but to withhold it from the application — unless the applications are done online. Online applications equal privacy for employees. Privacy alone is worth it to most businesses, but the benefits don’t stop there.

The ease of online Health insurance applications is paramount. Just think about the old fashioned way of doing things. Management calls a meeting, passes out large quantities of paperwork, explains the application process, and asks for questions. While holding their applications in hand, employees begin to ponder each and every question. Their eyes scan the pages; medications, pre-existing conditions, other insurances, doctors, alcohol use? Questions start being shouted across the room — the employees’ voices rising into a great cacophony that will only subside hours later, when the Health insurance meeting finally ends because everyone realizes it’s after 5:00. Then comes the “turning in” portion of the Health insurance process. Management announces that applications are due no later than Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon, four employees still haven’t turned in their applications. Josh lost his. Amanda’s is “almost done.” This process is never fun, and far from easy.

Now consider a slightly different scenario involving the online application process. Management calls a meeting. “Hello everyone. We will be changing to a new insurance company. They have an easy, streamlined application process, and their web site will answer any questions you might have about the new policy. The applications are completely confidential, and you can do them at home, on your own time. Just make sure to have them completed by the end of the week or you will be without insurance. The applications are processed immediately, so you should have your new cards by next week. ” While employees are at home, doing their applications in the privacy of their bedroom or den, questions will still arise — just as they did in scenario No. 1. The difference? They will be on a website hosted by the most useful resource available for their questions: The insurance carrier. They are much more likely to browse the site, looking for answers to their questions. A few employees will still make their way into managements’ offices, but they will be fewer and farther between. The “turn in” process will be eliminated. The applications will be processed with lightning speed. The environment, and the employer’s wallet, will be thankful for the reduction in paperwork. Not to mention, Health insurance isn’t a once and done thing. Employees will get married or divorced and will need to update their applications. Babies will be born. Options will be added. Virtually all of these changes can be updated — by the employee — online.

Online applications provide privacy for employees, speed and ease for everyone involved, and a more cost effective, environmentally-friendly process. Most carriers now offer this option, and the rest are not far off. By utilizing an online application process, employers will make their own lives easier while simultaneously winning the favor of their staff.