Voice activated benefits companion Emma launches

Voice activated benefits companion Emma launches

Leading consumer directed healthcare (CDH) solution provider Alegeus has announced the availability of ‘Emma’, the CDH industry’s first voice-activate

Leading consumer directed healthcare (CDH) solution provider Alegeus has announced the availability of ‘Emma’, the CDH industry’s first voice-activated intelligent assistant. The solution enables users of the Alegeus mobile application to leverage voice commands to receive information about their benefit accounts. Like other ‘virtual assistant’ solutions, such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, Emma provides an almost effortless consumer experience, helping them to better understand how to use their accounts and how to get better value for their healthcare spend.

 

The introduction of Emma is an especially significant innovation in today’s healthcare landscape given the current fluency level of healthcare consumers. Research affirms that many consumers still don’t fully understand account-based benefit programs – even those that are already enrolled in them. In fact, according to Alegeus research, only 50% of flexible spending account (FSA) enrollees and 30% of health savings account (HSA) enrollees can pass a basic proficiency quiz.

“The move to a more consumer driven healthcare system represents a paradigm shift for consumers, leaving many struggling to comprehend and manage their increased financial responsibilities,” said Steven Auerbach, Alegeus CEO. “At Alegeus, we constantly look for ways to better empower consumers and are thrilled to introduce the first intelligent assistant for CDH benefits, which will provide our customers with constant education and support at their fingertips.”

Emma can be asked various questions about the full range of tax-advantaged benefit accounts, including FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, limited purpose FSAs, dependent care FSAs, and commuter accounts, such as:

  • How much is my account balance?
  • What are my most recent five transactions?
  • How does my account work?
  • What is the annual contribution limit?
  • What expenses are covered?
  • Can I change my election amount?
  • Do I need to keep receipts?
  • What if I don’t use all of my funds?
  • What happens if I leave my employer?

But, it’s not all serious business either; Emma is not without a sense of humor. From ‘knock knock’ jokes about HIPAA to tongue-in-cheek commentary about the complexity of medical billing or to sharing personal details about her virtual healthcare needs, Emma is programmed to poke light-hearted fun at some of the ironies and foibles of today’s healthcare system.

Could this change how benefits are promoted and discussed in the workplace and how recipients engage with them? Time will tell.

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