Alegeus, a provider of consumer-directed health care (CDH) solutions, has introduced “Emma” to its mobile application. This voice-activated virtual assistant was designed to provide users with information about their benefit accounts and how to make the most of their health care money.
The firm is sending Emma out on a mission, to bridge the knowledge gap in health care literacy. According to Alegeus research, only 50% of flexible spending account (FSA) enrollees and 30% of health savings account (HSA) enrollees can pass a basic proficiency quiz.
“The move to a more consumer-driven health care system represents a paradigm shift for consumers, leaving many struggling to comprehend and manage their increased financial responsibilities,” says Steven Auerbach, Alegeus CEO. “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 can be asked various questions about the full range of tax-advantaged benefit accounts including FSAs, HSAs, health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), limited purpose FSAs, dependent care FSAs, and commuter accounts. The virtual application can help users learn their account balances, previous transactions, annual contribution limits and more about the general makeup of their accounts.
But despite the general complexity of navigating the health care system, Emma was built with a sense of humor. The firm notes, “From ‘knock knock’ jokes about HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] to tongue-in-cheek commentary about the complexity of medical billing, to sharing personal details about her virtual health care needs, Emma is programmed to poke lighthearted fun at some of the ironies and foibles of today’s health care system.”
Clients already using the Alegeus mobile application capabilities have access to Emma today.