According to Adam Feltes, Head of Health Plan & Strategic Partnerships, Guardian Life (Guardian) has a long history of helping its customers – now 29 million – protect their future and secure their lives through their benefits and services. As a mutual company, owned by and for the benefit of its policyholders, Guardian answers to a large and diverse group that demands the highest level of quality, service, and financial understanding.
Guardian provides its customers with a full range of benefits that complement their core offering with programs that help protect a family’s health (dental and vision insurance), finances (life, disability insurance), and promote recovery and well-being with supplemental health coverage for accidents, cancer, critical illness, and hospital indemnity.
While it is reasonable to think of Guardian as an insurance company, Feltes notes that there are many facets of the business to consider: “We are no longer simply insurance, we have evolved into a technology company focused on supporting the holistic well-being of our customers. It is an ongoing, important transformation for us.”
It’s really a company-wide effort to be a leader in the marketplace through transformational technology. Nearly every aspect of Guardian’s business and strategy is driven by tech, including how they go to market, the development of new products and services, and the assessment of claims.
But the main challenge runs deeper than the already-monumental task of supporting Guardian’s massive infrastructure with cutting-edge, cloud-based technologies. The key to understanding Feltes’ assertion stems from the fact that Guardian is bringing better connectivity via benefits administration platforms as a result of the API (Application Programming Interfaces) partnerships they have established with some of the most popular benefits administration platforms or middleware solutions.
As a result, the company has invested heavily in creating APIs, an advanced technology that allows data to flow effortlessly between Guardian’s servers and customer computers. To bring it all together, they rolled out Guardian Access to help improve the customer experience, reduce effort, and save time. This is connectivity is modernizing the experience during sales presentations, enrollment, claim submissions safely, securely, and completely.
This transformative investment, years in the making and touching on all aspects of Guardian’s business, also opened the company to engage non-traditional, disruptive partners like Stonebrook Risk.
By tapping into the Guardian APIs, Stonebrook can offer supplemental health products alongside the core initiatives of regional health providers to create more comprehensive offerings for a wider range of employers.
“Because Guardian is integrated into our digital platform,” said Mark Angard, CEO of Stonebrook Risk, “we’re able to combine best-of-breed care from regional providers with best-of-breed supplemental products from Guardian and price it competitively. For multi-state employers fed up with the BUCAs, this is a game-changer.”
Indeed, given Feltes’ mandate to discover, nurture, build, and grow partnerships with health plan partners that want to expand beyond their core offerings, partnering with Stonebrook was a natural fit. “Stonebrook aligns very well with two of our strategic imperatives, 1) digitizing transformation and 2) growing through partnerships,” said Feltes. “We’re excited to work with Stonebrook and create a portfolio of like-minded strategic partners that are packaging their value propositions together.”
Together, Guardian and Stonebrook are reimagining customer acquisition and customer service, working to enable visibility into a mutual pipeline that would enable collaborative selling between partners and the consolidation of employer proposals, even if services and products come from more than one carrier while unlocking ease of use for employers, employees, and financial professionals as well as key service functions like benefits, implementation, enrollment, and member management.
Material discussed is meant for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Stonebrook Risk is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Guardian. GUARDIAN® is a registered trademark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. ©Copyright 2021 The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. 2021-131008 (Exp. 12/23)