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The Hartford Targets Small Firms With Insurance Benefits Portal

Insurance company The Hartford has reportedly launched a digital benefits administration portal for its small business clients.

News reports on Wednesday (Aug. 9) said that The Hartford has rolled out its Employee Choice Benefits platform, a tool for small business employers to manage their benefits through a streamlined portal. The platform offers life insurance, disability and voluntary benefits solutions.

“This new platform will enable us to deliver a simple, easy-to-navigate and transparent benefits experience for brokers, employers and their employees,” said The Hartford Head of Group Benefits Product and Strategy, Mike Fish, in a statement. “Increasingly, customers expect a seamless digital enrollment and service experience, and we are continuing to make significant investments to respond to and meet those expectations.”

Employees can use the platform to access their benefits options from other insurance providers, including medical, dental and vision, the company said, while the tool also supports virtual insurance ID cards and integrates with existing payroll solutions.

The insurance industry is becoming an increasingly important focus for small businesses, especially the health insurance space, as political uncertainty means entrepreneurs are unsure about the future costs of insurance regulation on their businesses.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration moved to dismantle the Affordable Care Act’s small business enrollment program, which enables SMBs to enroll their own employees in health insurance programs via a government-run website.

“The ACA has failed to provide affordable insurance to small businesses and to the American people,” said Seema Verma, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last May. “The new direction will help employers find affordable healthcare coverage for their employees and make SHOP [Small Business Health Options Program] Marketplace exchanges function more effectively.”

The SHOP program is for businesses with 50 full-time employees or fewer. Its future, and the future of the entire Affordable Care Act, is in doubt as Trump continues efforts to repeal and replace the legislation.

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