(Image source: Alegeus homepage.)
Alegeus, a Waltham, Mass.-based vendor of solutions for consumer-directed healthcare, has announced availability of “Emma,” a voice-activated intelligent assistant. The solution lets users of the Alegeus mobile application give oral commands to receive information about their benefit accounts.
Designed to provide the kind of experience afforded by Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, the new capability is designed not only to provide a better service experience but also to address consumers’ typical lack of understanding of account-based benefit programs, even when they are enrolled in them. The vendor’s internal research found that only 50 percent of flexible spending account (FSA) enrollees and 30 percent of health savings account (HSA) enrollees can pass a basic proficiency quiz.
Constant Education and Support
“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,” comments Steven Auerbach, CEO, Alegeus. “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 is designed to answer questions about what Alegeus characterizes as 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?
However, Emma has also been given a sense of humor, being able to tell “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, according to the vendor. “Emma is programmed to poke light-hearted fun at some of the ironies and foibles of today’s healthcare system,” a vendor statement affirms.