Employers are increasingly turning to benefits administration platforms to manage ever-changing enrollment data with multiple carriers across their suite of benefits. In this episode, Noyo Co-Founder and CEO Shannon Goggin joined us to talk about Noyo’s API-driven solutions that power data exchange between the leading benefits administration platforms and a plethora of carriers, from industry veterans to new solutions like Brella.
Shannon’s journey to working in health insurance
Earlier in her career, Shannon was a strategy consultant at Monitor Deloitte. Shannon says she didn't expect to get into the benefits space after leaving consulting, but she wanted to work with a new and innovative company, so she looked to join a startup. Her search led her to join Zenefits, a startup working in the HR and benefits space to help small businesses. Shannon worked as a Product Manager, where she built the engine for the small business insurance shopping experience. She says that she had always understood health insurance to be a pain, a little intimidating, and not very interesting. But working at Zenefits changed that completely, as she found out how complex and dynamic health insurance can be.
Shannon saw that all of the things that are happening behind the scenes in insurance administration are directly impacting people’s experience with their healthcare. That makes those behind-the-scenes moments so important, yet they often weren’t optimized the way they could be. She explains, “The point of insurance is that you pay a little bit every month into a pool of money, so that if something happens where you need to draw on it, it’s there for you. And in a lot of ways our industry misses the mark and falls short of delivering on that promise to people.” So Shannon came to find that modernizing the health insurance space is really high-impact work.
The problem with insurance data and Noyo’s solution
Employers face a lot of challenges behind the scenes managing their benefits. When it comes to data, we still haven’t cracked the code for getting data out of benefits administration programs into carrier platforms. The way data moves around the health insurance ecosystem is very complex. The data is often sensitive health information, and it’s important because it directly impacts what coverage people are actually enrolled in and when they can use it. In benefits administration, manual processes, inefficiencies, and bottlenecks are common, and they have important real-world consequences.
Noyo was founded to provide a solution to these data-related issues in benefits administration. Noyo is a complete API solution that sits between benefits administration platforms and insurance companies to make it easy for them to share data. They take data transparency very seriously, and offer granular tracking of data and changes. This helps employers and employees alike feel confident that they know where their health insurance coverage stands at any given time.
For example, let’s say you have a new hire who has just started and signed up for coverage. They fill out paperwork that goes to the carrier. From that point forward, it’s pretty much a black box. The employee doesn’t know if the paperwork has been received, processed, or anything else. It’s possible they may go to the doctor thinking they are covered, only to find there was some issue on the administration side and they have a huge bill. That’s a really bad experience for everyone involved.
Noyo is not only improving the employer’s experience with their benefits administration platform, but also enabling new types of benefits to become available because it’s easier for companies to integrate with benefit administrators. That’s one of the reasons Brella has announced they are partnering with Noyo.
Fostering innovation in an established industry
Shannon tells us that if you know too much about the way a space works, it can be difficult to break out of that thinking and come up with new ideas. It’s important to marry that deep experience with diverse backgrounds so that creative thinking can happen. You can’t approach a hard problem like health insurance with the same solutions that have always been used.
Advice for choosing a benefits partner
Not all integrations are the same. There’s a lot of marketing out there, but it’s smart to really ask what is happening behind the scenes. Is it truly automated? How long will certain tasks take? What technologies are they relying on? It pays to be specific and ask these questions before committing to working with a benefits partner. By choosing forward-thinking partners, like Noyo and Brella, you’re positioning yourself for long-term success. It’s not just about being successful today, but about setting yourself up for success tomorrow.
The impact of COVID-19 on Noyo and the insurance market
COVID-19 impacted the insurance industry in myriad ways. Noyo has always had a distributed team, so luckily there wasn’t much to change in the way the team works.
At a broader level, Shannon saw that the pandemic made people wake up to how quickly they can make necessary changes. In the past five years, there has been a dramatic change in attitude towards new technology in the insurance space. There used to be tons of inertia at many organizations, but now that has really shifted, especially with the pandemic. Many companies have stopped looking at ten-year time frames for changes and made dramatic changes in just a year. That’s a big shift for the industry.
Hear more from Shannon in the full episode:
Shannon recommends Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values by Fred Kofman. The book talks about creating a valuable company that is values driven and values aligned. He lays out values you may be thinking of and tough situations you may have to navigate as you build a company. He guides you through how to approach these situations so you can have positive outcomes at your company. It’s not your typical business self-help book.
If you want to get in touch with Shannon or learn more about Noyo, visit their website at Noyo.com. Note, this episode is for informational and educational purposes only. Shannon Goggin and Noyo are not endorsed, affiliated with, nor compensated by Greenhouse Life Insurance Company.
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