Sun Life’s Digital Center of Excellence (DDCOE), founded in 2020. focuses on modernizing insurer technologies, partly through partnerships. Around the same time, Sun Life also launched its Digital Accelerator, which deploys the APIs and technologies to make these upgrades happen.
“Our main goal is to save time for the employer and benefit administrator,” said Jonathan Caruso, director and head of Digital Accelerator at Sun Life. The carrier will notify benefit administrators of employees whose eligibility needs to be verified.
For any company with more than 20 employees during an open recruitment period, manually working on each set can be “painful,” Caruso said. “Decisions are not made at the same time because employees will come in and fill out this form when they have the opportunity,” he added. “They are constantly looking for these solutions, then they have to go back and manually update them. Sometimes they forget about it, sometimes they enter the wrong amount.”
Implementations of the Sun Life Digital Accelerator API allow benefit administrators to focus more on the experience of their employees, Caruso said. They also provide more security in the transfer of registration data. APIs include plan setup, compliance, EOI [evidence of insurability]billing and claims in absence.
- Plan setup – This API connects administrative systems to benefits administration platforms such as ADP so that benefits administrators do not need to manually create employee benefits. Once benefit plans are final, Sun Life may mark them as “sold” and automatically make any changes. This API has been around for 18 months.
- right – will automatically mark and process changes in permissions in real time. Still in development.
- VZ This adds to the underwriting workload of Sun Life’s medical staff, Caruso said, so the operator is looking at how to set up rules in the API for automated decision making.
- Billing – saves time and increases productivity. Customers can fill out a summary and submit a payment, which the API can process and reconcile automatically.
- Claims in the absence – Facilitates employee payroll checks needed to calculate and process claims, especially in relation to any absence of employees. This API has been around for two years now.
Many of these APIs improve data handling and management, Caruso says. “We realized that it is very painful for clients to extract data from their systems, but they also do not know how to correctly calculate premiums,” he said. Caruso noted that carriers are asking for help to comply with the new LDEx standard for data exchange between insurance companies and benefit administrators. Sun Life didn’t want to wait until the LDEx standard was finalized to launch an API to customize its plan, he said.