Platforms like Amazon and Zillow have proven that consumers can compare prices and quality of almost anything with the click of a mouse. But when it comes to something as impactful as benefits, that hasn’t been the case — until now.
Benefits brokerage Nava has launched its free service Benefits search engine, which includes more than 600 benefit offerings spanning 28 categories, including telehealth, fertility and mental health. While HR teams typically have to contact benefits brokers to find out what’s available on the market, Brandon Weber, co-founder and CEO of Nava, wants this search engine to change that.
“Historically, there hasn’t been a place for you to research the benefits yourself with confidence that the data you’re looking at is comprehensive and useful,” says Weber. “HR managers should rely on a broker, and they never know if they’re getting the full story.”
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For Weber, this search engine is essential to bring transparency to the health and benefits sector, which is why anyone can use it without login or special fees. Any user can enter a specific benefit in the search bar or search by category, or search for benefits based on their location, type of medical plan and number of employees to see the most viable options. If the user logs into the platform, Nava takes notes on their employer’s size, location, funding and industry, letting the user know if a particular benefit is common to similar employers.
“We aim to be the easiest place for HR professionals across the country,” says Weber. “We want to democratize benefit offerings, their features, their prices and what peers think about them.”
The search engine feature allows users to review each benefit, rating it out of five stars. Nava even includes a power play app score on Apple and Google Play. Plus, every perk includes the ability to book a demo and get pricing. Weber notes that he would like to make pricing information more transparent in the future, but needs time to grasp the nuances of cost.
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“We’ve spoken with benefit providers, and the reality is that prices will be different for a 200-person company and a 1,000-person company,” he says. “Right now, we can work with suppliers to provide quotes and over time make those prices available in real time.”
Nava plans to double the number of vendors available in its search engine in the next quarter and include live video demonstrations for each product. In the transparency nameNava is shaping a search engine that will compete for advantages based on quality rather than size and marketing power – a crucial point for Weber.
“We will be the largest online marketplace for benefits providers,” he says. “Here, sellers can’t spend money to get to the top. Instead, providers will be compared to incumbents like UnitedHealthcare and Delta Dental on the basis of merit.
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As a benefits broker, Nava already offers 100% fee transparency with a performance-based money-back guarantee to all of its clients – notably, benefits brokers did not have to disclose their fees, bonuses or commissions until the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. But a search engine could help Nava put buying power directly into the hands of employers and HR teams who provide health care to more than 156 million people. ‘Americans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“One of the most fundamental things we can do to fix the healthcare market is to make that market accessible and information-rich,” Weber says. “The buyer should be able to find benefits without mediation by a broker, be it Nava or anyone else.”