Bardon Insurance Group Selects Gradient AI SAIL

The solution provides larger data sets and deeper insights into the underwriting process.

(Image credit: Fons Heijnsbroek/Unsplash.)

Bardon Insurance Group, a medical stop loss managing general underwriter (MGU), has selected Gradient AI’s SAIL solution to better evaluate the risk of medical loss for group health insurance, according to a vendor statement.

Byrd Preston, VP and chief underwriting officer, Bardon.

Stop-loss insurance protects self-funded employers from unexpected and large employee health benefit claims by reimbursing them for claims over a predetermined amount. The stop-loss market is valued at approximately $25 billion, according to an AM Best report.  As employer healthcare costs continue to rise, an increasing number of businesses are turning to self-funded health insurance models. However, lack of access to sufficient historical data leaves many companies unable to purchase stop-loss insurance. These employers must resort to the fully insured market to provide health benefits, resulting in double-digit annual increases and plan designs that leave employees functionally uninsured, according to a Gradient AI statement.

Determined to provide its self-funded employers with better and more predictable benefits plans, Bardon searched for a solution to expand the limited insights it currently had into the risk of employee groups, according to Gradient AI. After evaluating competitive underwriting solutions, the vendor says that Bardon ultimately chose Gradient AI’s SAIL solution.

“We chose Gradient AI because of its broad and high-quality dataset which provides us with greater insights to evaluate group health risk,” comments Byrd Preston, VP and chief underwriting officer, Bardon. “With Gradient AI, we can price more aggressively and confidently because the technology allows us to assess risk at a very nuanced level. We are also able to underwrite more quickly, accurately and provide better customer experience all around.”

Unique Competitive Advantage

Stan Smith, CEO, Gradient AI.

Using Gradient AI’s SAIL medical underwriting solution, Bardon obtains a greater level of fidelity and resolution for a particular group’s health profile, according to the vendor. SAIL’s vast medical dataset coupled with its machine learning and advanced analytics enables Bardon to gain insights never before possible, dramatically amplifying its underwriting assessment accuracy and pricing power, the vendor says. The result, Gradient AI reports is that Bardon has gained a unique competitive advantage with the ability to offer highly customized and cost-effective solutions for the self-insured market. This, the vendor says, allows Bardon to provide the stop loss coverage that employers need to provide employee benefits more cost-effectively, enabling many employers to self-insure who may have been unable to do so otherwise.

“We are excited that Bardon is innovating risk management in the employer stop-loss space with Gradient AI’s greater insights,” comments Stan Smith, founder and CEO, Gradient AI.  “We look forward to our continued partnership with Bardon and support its work to offer its customers high quality, cost-effective and competitive health insurance solutions.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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