Benefits technology provider PlanSource will offer its 3,200 employer clients the interactive benefits counselor ALEX from Jellyvision starting next year.

With plans for a limited beta rollout in Q4, PlanSource will make ALEX available to its entire 3.5 million users — employees, spouses and dependents — at the start of 2019.

The ALEX system will be integrated with the PlanSource platform to help onboard new employees, help new and current workers choose their medical insurance plan and retirement savings plan, and advise them how to manage healthcare costs or navigate through a life event such as adding new dependents or changing their coverage.

Jellyvision claims that ALEX delivers “behavioral science, non-jargony language and humor to offer personalized, confidential guidance” to its more than 1,200 companies —111 of which are part of the Fortune 500 — with more than 18 million employees signed up for ALEX.

Nancy Sansom
Nancy Sansom

PlanSource has been planning to work with larger firms so offering ALEX made sense, says Nancy Sansom, chief commercial officer for PlanSource.

PlanSource announced the Jellyvision ALEX partnership at its annual conference held at Half Moon Bay, California on Monday.

See also: Is Facebook the right platform for explaining benefits?

“We have videos and recommendations too but if you want a very personalized, interactive experience, you can engage with ALEX and send your information into the system,” says Sansom, adding that employees get the best of both worlds.

“They have the modern shopping experience, and they get this personalized interactive ALEX that is as deep or as shallow as they want depending on how or what they ask for and what they need,” she says.

Sansom predicts that the ALEX-enabled benefit offering will be a hit with millennial and Generation Z workers who have little problem interacting with a smartphone or tablet-empowered tool. In fact, she says that younger workers tend to know so little about their employee benefits in general that ALEX will help them.

Older workers such as baby boomers and Generation X-ers can use ALEX’s machine learning and humor-centric interaction to skip over section of the open enrollment process with which they are familiar.

“If ALEX asks, “Do you want me to explain more about HSAs?” users can say “Let’s just skip that,” and they can move on,” she says.

One of Jellyvision’s aims for ALEX is to estimate an employee’s potential costs and savings with an employer’s health plans. “It can provide a good estimate of what the best plan is for you. You can do that with our software today but it’s not someone talking you through the process,” says Sansom. “Alex talking to you just feels right.”

“ALEX has been a big part of the Clif Bar benefits team for years,” said Chrissy Morss, benefits manager at Clif Bar, a PlanSource and Jellyvision customer in a press statement. “As we've grown and changed as an organization, employees have consistently found ALEX lovely and helpful, and the Clif Bar team has added something new to our ALEX lineup every year to keep giving our employees more of the interactive education and decision support they love.”

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