Where’s Their Electric Car?

Jun 06, 2023 | Posted by Elevate

‍Why We Started Elevate: A Revolution in Consumer Directed Benefits

In a 2008 interview with Elon Musk, the interviewer asked Musk about competing against major car companies with massive resources. How could an industry newcomer dare to compete against established manufacturers that dominate the market?

Musk's response was simple yet profound: "Where’s their electric car?" 

This four-word response echoed the monumental feat Musk achieved ahead of established industry dominators—bringing to market a commercially viable electric vehicle. 

Musk went on to explain that it's not the quantity of resources that matters, but the quality of a small, talented, and dedicated team willing to take risks to make something big happen. Love Musk or hate him, it is undebatable that he changed the automotive industry with his innovative vision and team.‍

How are Consumer Directed Benefits like Cars?

In the consumer directed benefit industry, we face a situation similar to the one Musk faced in 2008. Like the Big Three in Detroit, we have major full administration incumbents: WEX, Alegeus, HealthEquity, and Optum, all multi-billion dollar organizations operating on systems built nearly twenty years ago. 

This handful of industry dominators provide the technology behind millions of Americans’ health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). But these solutions are built on a broken system using antiquated technology. While they were all built using the best technology practices at the time, technology has advanced significantly in the past two decades, and these systems have too much tech debt to catch up.‍

Elevate is Born

Elevate’s founders, industry veterans Brian Cosgray and Brian Strom, have deep experience building and working with these legacy systems. They recognized the gaps these systems have that prevent them from keeping up with consumer expectations. The need for innovation in the industry was painfully clear, and they set out to create a platform that would revolutionize the consumer benefits experience.

In 2020, they formed Elevate to bring a more intelligent solution to the market: a platform built using the latest technology—cloud computing, AI algorithms, and Restful APIs—resulting in a seamless integration and superior user experience.‍

Legacy System Problems 

Consumers who must rely on these legacy systems are saddled with paperwork, receipt headaches, and multiple claims filing steps. Reimbursements often take up to 10 days to connect consumers with their benefits dollars. 

The TPAs, financial institutions, and health plans that administer these accounts face escalating service costs that eat away at profit margins, the inability to easily support complicated employer plans, and declining customer satisfaction scores.

As consumers demand more from service providers, legacy solutions are unable to retrofit their outdated systems to keep up.‍

Transformational Effect of AI

Gokul Rajaram, an early investor in Elevate, recognized the potential for improvement after experiencing poor user interactions with one of the legacy providers. Rajaram, a visionary involved in product development at Google, Square, and DoorDash, recognized the importance of providing employees with an enhanced benefits experience built on superior technology. He also likens AI to the Industrial Revolution.

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We agree. Together, we believe that we are entering an age of automation that will have a transformational effect on the way we interact with services across every aspect of our lifestyle. Elevate is already there. 

The Elevate platform is built to integrate with generative AI and real-time automation capabilities, unlike the outdated batch architecture of legacy systems. 

Our AI-enabled solutions eliminate consumer friction and unnecessary administration costs with:

  • Instant claims processing and same-day reimbursements
  • Convenient reimbursements through cash apps like PayPal and Venmo
  • Single, contactless payment card  
  • Personalized, real-time interactions

Built for the Future, Today

When we think about the ways that the legacy systems have failed us, they fall into three major industry needs: embeddability, configurability, and automation. Cosgray and Strom designed built-in solutions to these challenges at each turn, resulting in a turn-key, future-proofed platform for TPAs, financial institutions, and the health plans that administer these accounts.

  1. Embeddability: Both employers and employees want a single place to access all employee benefits, including benefit accounts. Elevate's modern Restful APIs allow for seamless integration into any benefits portal, making single sign-on a thing of the past.

    Why this matters:
    Accessing healthcare options in the past has been difficult because solutions are often scattered across different platforms, forcing employees to bear the burden of marrying the experiences of these outdated technologies. Elevate alleviates these issues by allowing simple accessibility in one spot.
  1. Configurability: Elevate's attribute-based plan builder and templates enable near-instant creation of customized plans without touching any code. Plans can be set up or modified in real-time to reflect clients’ specific carry-over rules, deadlines, and coverage policies.

    Why this matters:
    When compliance is key, relying on manual or code-based changes introduces potential errors while delaying critical updates. Additionally, employers with complex plan designs often face extra implementation fees, and administrators are strained with resourcing the needed man-hours to support complicated setups.

    With today’s technology options, there is no need to factor in code changes to make simple adjustments. With Elevate, it’s easy to make updates and carry them over without problems.
  1. Automation: While the full administration industry incumbents require administrators to staff full departments to operate their systems, Elevate's platform is designed for true software-as-a-service.‍

    ‍Why this matters: Elevate’s modern software development approach reduces costs, shortens processing times, eliminates errors, and provides accurate results. Everyone benefits.

Where’s Their Modern Benefits Platform?

‍So, when you look at these legacy systems that dominate the consumer directed benefits industry, remember Elon Musk's question: "Where's their electric car?" 

Where is the industry’s modern benefits platform? We’ve built it. It’s here. And it’s driving the future of consumer benefits.

Interested in learning more? Let’s get talking. 

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