Health+Benefits

What Does It Mean To Be a “One-Stop Shop” in Benefits Enrollment?

Q&A with Raj Singh, CEO, Flock
By Katie Oberkircher
Q
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing employers today?
A
Employers are generally bogged down by the management and tracking of their employee population, from managing data to tracking employee paperwork, deadlines, compliance, benefits and deduction. Using a system of the record creates efficiencies and consistency. Additionally, employee benefits continue to be the largest cost for an employer after payroll, yet employers struggle to communicate the value of group benefits, which can, in turn, reduce turnover and drive retention and engagement.
Q
How did Flock get its start?
A
Flock launched in mid-2015 as an HR-first, benefits administration platform distributed primarily through health insurance brokers. The market at the time was going through a paradigm shift due to the advent of online, tech-first brokers (such as Zenefits, Namely, etc.). Flock bridged the critical gap in the market between the health insurance brokers’ deep understanding of the industry, and an easy to use, online onboarding, HR and benefits enrollment platform.
Q
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing employers today?
A
Employers are generally bogged down by the management and tracking of their employee population, from managing data to tracking employee paperwork, deadlines, compliance, benefits and deduction. Using a system of the record creates efficiencies and consistency. Additionally, employee benefits continue to be the largest cost for an employer after payroll, yet employers struggle to communicate the value of group benefits, which can, in turn, reduce turnover and drive retention and engagement.
Q
You’ve partnered with different carriers to integrate plan designs and coverage options into Flock’s platform. How does data flow between Flock, the insurer, the broker and the employer? How do you leverage that data?
A
One of Flock’s key tenets is to eliminate paperwork where possible. As such, our R&D continues to focus on connectivity between Flock and any other systems the employer may use. For benefits, we connect directly with hundreds of carriers to bring in plan designs and rates, and after enrollment, we send the data back to the carriers via EDI, API, or any other protocol the carrier may use. Flock also connects with leading payroll platforms, and we then send any demographic and deduction data directly to the payroll provider, thus removing redundancies created via duplicate data entry and making the process fast, simple and accurate.
Q
The current workforce spans five generations, making it one of the most dynamic and diverse ever. What new types of technology is Flock experimenting with to meet the unique needs of this workforce?
A
When we launched Flock, we were unsure on utilization for benefits enrollment via mobile devices. Fortunately, we designed the product to be mobile-first and fully responsive, because we were surprised to see one-third of our enrollments or eligibility changes being done via our mobile apps. In the near future, we plan to integrate AI and more decision support for benefits in the process to make it easier for employees to understand their benefit choices.
Q
To that end, the industry has begun to offer non-traditional benefits like student loan assistance and mental health support, and utilizing new metrics like social determinants of health to implement those benefits. How are you seeing this shift at Flock? Has it affected your service model?
A
Our goal is to accommodate any type of benefits offering, from pet insurance to mental health support, so we can support most of these from an enrollment standpoint; however, we see these offered typically in our larger clients (>500 employees). For our small to midsize clients, we haven’t yet particularly seen broad adoption for non-traditional benefits.
Q
Where do you see the role of Flock in conversations on larger industry issues, like value-based care?
A
As technologists, we are strong believers in pay-for-performance. However, healthcare is probably one of the most complex domains, so the conversation we feel is still at a relatively early stage. For now, as part of our technology roadmap, we plan to incorporate telemedicine and integration with EHR software to provide more insights into our carrier partners.
Q
What is Flock’s biggest opportunity for growth?
A
With the support of our customers, employees and investors, Flock has been fortunate to have experienced rapid growth in a short time. We have partnerships with the largest insurance carriers, payroll providers and insurance brokers and we are laser-focused on execution and driving success for our partners. We have a long road ahead, and we’re just getting started!
Katie Oberkircher Content Specialist, Market Intelligence & Insights Read More

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