Introducing Pilot+: Use Healthcare Data to Revolutionize Your Employees’ Benefit Journey

Introducing Pilot+: Use Healthcare Data to Revolutionize Your Employees’ Benefit Journey

By Jim Priebe, Executive Vice President, Product

We live in a data-driven world that allows for high personalization in the consumer experience, from retail to airfare. So, it’s no surprise that your employees want their benefits to offer a similar experience. If you think that level of personalization is far off into the future, I’m thrilled to tell you that the future is here.

How does your benefits administration platform support your employees’ needs? Statistics show that 44% of employees say that in a perfect world, benefits selection would be more like Amazon. Empyrean’s enhanced recommendation engine, Pilot℠, delivers fast and intuitive support that provides the consumer-centric benefits shopping experience employees crave – built on more than a decade of proprietary data and research.

With Pilot­­­­­­+, we’ve expanded these capabilities even further.

Pilot+ features all the packaged benefits recommendations of Pilot, plus personalized guidance and engagement that blends health plan education, claims analysis, and targeted benefits communication. Pilot+ makes it easy for employees to not only understand their benefits, but also utilize them more effectively and cost-efficiently, year round.

Pilot+ strengthens your benefits program and strategy by intelligently automating processes:

  • Pilot helps make the most of short employee attention spans by packaging benefit recommendations into “best match” bundles, including voluntary options when available. Pilot+ adds personalized claims analysis and engagement to this process, so employees can leverage a year’s worth of information to help them select the best plan for the upcoming year.
  • Pilot’s machine-learning technology offers employees more refined and personalized recommendations over time. Ongoing claims information drives the adaptability of Pilot+, which analyzes each health care interaction provide employees with updates and actionable tips on how to best use their plan.
  • Pilot’s recommendation survey tells employees why questions are asked, so they can better understand their needs, and know how their benefit recommendations will meet those needs. Pilot+ takes education even further, by demonstrating how an employee’s chosen health plan performs according to their specific claims data, plan deductible, and spending account information – including health savings accounts (HSAs). With Pilot+, employees feel confident gaining the information they need, right when they need it, so they can leave unpleasant plan surprises behind.
  • Pilot has been rigorously tested to ensure an intuitive and inviting experience for users during the enrollment process. Pilot+ highly engages employees beyond benefits selection, offering personalized alerts and year-round communication.

Pilot+ connects employees to their benefits right when it matters most. Pilot+ automatically delivers personalized and prescriptive recommendations that are relevant to employees’ immediate needs:

During benefits enrollment. “You’ve kept your medical plan from year to year, which may be a safe option. But you have been overpaying in premiums and not going to the doctor that often. Switching to another plan could save you $1,500.”

After an accident. “Your bill from a recent leg injury just posted. You have enough to cover it through your HSA. And you can save $1,200 on your bill by filing for reimbursement using your accident coverage!”

And before a procedure or service. “Yikes! We’re sorry to see your recent claim for a concussion. If your doctor recommended a follow up MRI, you can save $200 at one of these nearby imaging facilities.”

The results? Pilot+ saves employees a median of $1,500 per year. Employees are engaged, and Pilot+ becomes their health and wealth champion.  And Pilot+ could save you up to 7% on your organization’s annual health care expenditures, all while freeing up your human resources team to focus on your priorities.

The future of benefits engagement is here. Learn more about how Pilot+ leverages claims data to engage employees at annual enrollment and beyond.

Leverage Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Automation to Achieve Better Benefit Outcomes

Leverage Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Automation to Achieve Better Benefit Outcomes

Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning are changing the way many organizations do business – but what does this mean for HR’s undeniably human-centric work?

Empyrean’s new At-A-Glance Guide, Analytics and AI in HR, explores how businesses can leverage AI, machine learning, and data analysis to achieve better benefit outcomes. Download this free guide and learn how properly applying the latest advancements in smart technology can boost your strategy, guide and engage employees year-round, and help save your employees and your company substantial health care costs every year.

Before you can take advantage of the latest technology, however, it helps to understand the basics. Here’s a quick primer.


Automated technology is programmed to complete routine, predictable, and often physical tasks – think factory robots on an assembly line. Automation increases efficiency and helps eliminate human error that can occur as a result of manual processes.

In its most basic form, HR software and benefits administration technology is an example of automation at work. Rules-based gatekeeping , scheduled file transfers, and employee benefits enrollment are all automated processes that (ideally) make life easier and eliminate potential errors for benefit teams and employees.

Just because a technology is automated, however, does not mean that the technology is smart.

On its own, basic automated technology lacks the ability to understand concepts, recognize problems, or identify patterns that may arise over the course of its use. For technology to be smart, it needs artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) programming empowers technology to identify concepts, recognize patterns, and analyze complex rules to quickly develop and offer solutions for a multitude of challenges. The goal of AI is to create smarter technology that can “think” and solve problems like a human, but with the computing capabilities and speed of modern machines. Machine learning is a component of AI, enabling AI-equipped technology to better analyze and learn from data.

So how do these concepts apply to – and improve – your business intelligence and the execution of your benefits strategy? When it comes to benefits, what is the most valuable application for this new generation of technology?


Data, AI, and machine learning algorithms can come together to positively influence the employee experience and streamline your workload. While analytics may have been previously viewed as something mainly utilized for operations and finance departments, the reality is that analyzing data is now a critical aspect of today’s successful benefit programs and administration.

Employees are often overwhelmed by benefit complexity, and want an easy answer to the question, “What’s the best plan or path to care for me?… But of course, the answer to this question is highly personal and dependent on each employee’s unique circumstances. By analyzing employees’ very own data and behavior, the answer to this question is more accessible and more accurate than ever.

Modern and more robust decision support uses claims data, consumer data, and health indicator data sets to provide a clear and objective view of employees’ care-related spending, coverage utilization patterns, purchasing patterns, and opportunities for consumer-centric plan utilization and selection.

Combining a data analytics engine into your decision support enables employees to finally make use of their own data – without the need for spreadsheets, number-crunching, or a statistics degree. Your benefits administration platform should offer a seamless solution that easily incorporates this technology and predictive analytics into your benefits offering.

For example, imagine that an employee has just welcomed a new child to their family. Now, they are tasked with enrolling in their benefits, but are unsure if they should change their medical insurance coverage after this major life event. How might their anxiety and experience change if they encountered the following message when they went to enroll on your benefits platform?

“Congratulations on your baby delivery this year! Despite it costing you $6,500, the plan you had this year was the best option for you, and you saved $500 overall. Keeping your plan will save you money next year too.”

This message not only provides a clear recommendation to your employees, as well as offer a cost-savings prediction in the year ahead, but also provides understanding support and encouragement that your employees crave and will appreciate.

In addition to supporting decision-making during enrollment, an advanced analytics engine should also help facilitate year-round engagement and look out for your employees’ financial and health care needs. Personalized messages based on recent claims and utilization patterns will help employees better understand how they can utilize their healthcare coverage, provider choices, voluntary benefits, and savings account options in the most cost-effective and efficient manner. Leveraging new technologies and benefits management software solutions in conjunction with data has big advantages for your business: Employees can save a median of $1,500, and employers can save up to 7% on their healthcare costs.

In a world where algorithms help us decide the next article to read, next song to listen to, and even the next job we’ll hold, it is critical that HR paves the way for technology to better the lives of employees and their families. As benefit leaders achieve greater visibility and influence across organizations of all sizes and complexity, they are expected to bring new solutions to classic challenges and emerging problems alike. How well are you prepared for HR’s new chapter?

For an in-depth look at how this technology is impacting HR, download the At-A-Glance Guide, Analytics and AI in HR: Leveraging Data to Take Control of Your Benefits Strategy. As you read, we’d love to get your thoughts. Feel free to contact us with questions or comments at