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PayFlex launches healthcare financial services app for enterprises

PayFlex Systems USA Inc., an administrator for employee benefit programs, has launched a broad mobile application platform, the first of several mobile-specific offerings planned by the company.

This application will let consumers access and act on all elements of their personalized healthcare financial benefits, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) from anywhere and at anytime. The application will initially be piloted at several large PayFlex customers and is expected to be generally available in the early summer of 2010.

“PayFlex’s strategy is to create a widely used mechanism for people to engage with their healthcare plans,” said Darren McCue, executive vice president of product development at PayFlex Systems USA Inc., Rockville, MD. “The missing piece with healthcare solutions today, from an engagement perspective, is the ubiquity of the platform.

“It is simply not practical to only have access to a Web site when making healthcare and financial decisions,” he said. “In order to get people to engage with decision support and effectively managing their healthcare spending, we need to find a mechanism to enable ubiquity of access—that mechanism is the mobile phone.

“At PayFlex, we want people to have the ability to make healthcare decisions anywhere and anytime, and the only device enabling this is the mobile phone.”

PayFlex is a nationwide provider of administration for employer benefit programs. PayFlex provides a broad range of services to several thousand employers, including many Fortune 500 companies.

The company claims that it administers more than 14 million claims and processes nearly $1 billion in transactions each year.

PayFlex Mobile
PayFlex Mobile is designed to help companies achieve direct engagement with their employees.

“The mobile phone is analogous to the American Express card—consumers don’t leave home without it,” Mr. McCue said. “A mobile strategy is critical for the healthcare business or any other business.”

One of the key benefits is the broad range of compatibility, as the application will be compatible with more than 300 mobile devices, approximately 90 percent of the worldwide market.

The PayFlex Mobile application can be designed specifically for any type of mobile device.

This lets consumers easily access and act upon their personalized information, on-demand, whether they are at home or in their physician’s office, pharmacy or hospital.

PayFlex touts the application’s ease of use on a 24/7 basis and the ability for consumers to check their account balances, while also seeing past claim history.

PayFlex has formulated a wealth of data and information to address the questions consumers commonly encounter with FSAs, HSAs and HRAs.

For example, the first release will include an application that allows people to actually see their respective physician, pharmacy and hospital co-pays, a common consumer question.

PayFlex believes that HSAs are going to be a critical component moving forward as high-deductible plans gain more and more traction.

As a result, the company will have a ‘HSA Deductible Tracker’ in the application.

The mobile tracker will create visibility for consumers, enabling better cash management.

PayFlex also recently announced a new Web service HSA offering that enables employer clients to choose their respective bank custodian.

PayFlex plans to use both traditional and nontraditional marketing tactics to achieve its reach, awareness and frequency goals.
“PayFlex developed the mobile application such that it will be an essential tool in an employee’s toolkit,” Mr. McCue said. “We envision it will be something that they cannot live without.

“That in and of itself, is its own advertising mechanism,” he said.

PayFlex Mobile enables clients to get their employees to participate more closely in their health benefit programs.

“This promotes consumerism and ultimately drives cost out of the total healthcare system, including the individual employer’s health care costs, while also promoting higher workforce productivity due to having a more healthy workforce,” Mr. McCue said. “For consumers, PayFlex Mobile is very simple and easy to use.

“The consumer now has a way to better manage their healthcare and healthcare dollars, because decision support and healthcare financial management information is literally at their finger tips—24 hours a day and 7 days a week,” he said. “PayFlex Mobile gives consumers the ability to see all the data they need to make healthcare decisions, and also the ability to do functional actions like submitting a claim using your mobile application.

“PayFlex Mobile is not just a decision support tool—it is also functional.”