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Webinar Recap: Unleashing the Power of Generative AI for Total Rewards and Benefits

Learn more about how generative AI is transforming employee benefits for both employees and admins.

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Generative AI is unlocking new capabilities and efficiencies in many industries and functions—and HR is next. Generative AI refers to AI systems that can create new content based on deep learning algorithms like large language models (LLMs). Companies like OpenAI and Anthropic have released the capability of building context-specific LLMs on their platforms. This means that generative AI models can be customized to produce context-specific and personalized answers in a scalable fashion, creating endless opportunities in industries like total rewards and benefits. 

Mark Fischer, Benepass Head of Product and former Google engineer, and Kabir Soorya, Benepass Chief Technology Officer, joined a recent webinar to explore these opportunities and discuss how AI is transforming the benefits space for both employers and employees. We also demoed Benebot, our new generative AI tool in beta that helps employees understand their benefits. Read on for a recap. 

The problem with traditional benefits platforms

To understand the potential for AI in the benefits space, it’s important first to understand where today’s benefits platforms and administration methods are falling short. Employee benefits are burdensome for companies to administer and confusing for employees to access. HR and benefits admins spend countless hours running various programs, using multiple point solutions that each require specialized knowledge and close monitoring to be effective.

On the employee’s side, it’s confusing to navigate their benefits, understand what’s available to them, and use their benefits in a personally meaningful way. Pre-tax benefits are particularly challenging to understand because of the many tax and compliance regulations governing their use. Employees typically receive benefits packets with FAQs to read through, or they must sift through emails or intranets to get all the information they need. Many third-party administrators have platforms with weak UX and a lack of personalization, resulting in poor engagement and employee satisfaction. 

“Many employees don’t want that experience and it turns out bringing the answers to them into the product in a first-class way is extremely valuable.” - Mark Fischer, Head of Product, Benepass

What can generative AI do for benefits?

Many third-party administrators have platforms defined by weak UX and a lack of personalization, but generative AI solves these common problems. Instead of asking employees to find the answers on their own, AI-enabled platforms can take employee questions, sort through the data living in the backend, and generate personalized answers and recommendations. Employees can receive help with general requests, along with those that are specific to their company’s policies or individual benefit enrollments. For example, AI can help answer questions like:

  • What is a health FSA and what can I spend it on?
  • What are my year-to-date contributions to my FSA? 
  • What is the advantage of using FSA funds vs. HSA funds?
  • Does CorePower Yoga qualify for my wellness benefit?
  • I like to lift weights. Can you suggest some gyms in [city name] where I can use my wellness benefit?

These capabilities reduce the time HR admins spend fielding questions and help employees get the most out of their benefits. Personalization increases employee satisfaction, meaning employees will place greater value on their benefits and use them to meet their health and wellness needs, as companies intend. AI can also be used to troubleshoot data quality issues and analyze benefits usage so admins can iterate on their programs for increased engagement. Ultimately, AI allows us to use natural language to better engage with complex, data-driven products like Benepass. 

“We want to apply these same capabilities to the admin side to handle the repetitive kinds of questions that take up administration time today. This includes understanding all of the data. What are my employees doing? Are they getting good value?” - Mark Fischer, Head of Product, Benepass

Introducing Benebot

Because we own our full software stack, we can embed AI into our product in ways that legacy third-party administrators can’t. We also own our card-decisioning logic, meaning we can use AI to guide employees on how they can spend their benefits based on their company’s policy. Combined with the rich demographic data in our platform, this creates more opportunities for personalization using AI. 

We created Benebot, an in-app chatbot, to help employees manage their benefits and increase their benefits usage. Now in beta, Benebot will be available to employees in Q1 of 2024, with admin functionality rolling out later in the year. 

Employees will be able to ask Benebot common questions about pre-tax benefits, such as how to spend their FSA dollars. 

Benebot question for pre-tax benefits

They can also ask questions about their company’s specific benefits policies so they can better tailor their benefits to their individual needs. Benebot will provide spending suggestions according to a company’s unique benefits template, reducing confusion and improving benefits usage. 

Benebot question for perks

Learn more

We’re excited to continue exploring the possibilities for AI and total rewards. Watch the full webinar here, and follow us on LinkedIn to stay tuned for updates on Benebot and other product launches.

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Annalisa Rodriguez

Content Marketing Manager

Annalisa is the Content Marketing Manager at Benepass. She has 9+ years of experience in writing, editing, and content strategy.

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