Nationwide launched a new Care Concierge program, which allows 24-hour access to retirement resources for select variable annuity holders and their families. The service, aimed at helping clients prepare for and live in retirement, can help annuity holders with a range of tasks like accessing medical research, navigating Medicare and contacting health providers and attorneys. This goes beyond traditional annuity-related services, providing not only financial support but also health, wellness and other life resources.
To begin, annuity holders call to be connected with a licensed registered nurse, benefits expert or trained clinical professional, depending on the type of help needed. This individual assists callers from start to finish—until the issue is resolved or request completed. While the program includes medical inquiries, like researching and reviewing medical treatments and diagnoses, the service is not considered actual medical care or recommendation for treatment. More so, it gives retirees and soon-to-be retirees easy access to health advocacy information they may need.
In addition to medical resources, Care Concierge offers personal resources like vacation and event planning, entertainment recommendations and gift ideas; health insurance resources like managing claims and billing issues; and other care services like scheduling appointments, arranging care for family members and providing counseling services.
As financial services firms increasingly connect clients with technology to solve problems and requests, Nationwide’s Care Concierge strays away from this trend. While other firms launch robo-advisors, chat bots and other automated assistance, Nationwide’s new program instead emphasizes repeated human interaction in order to help clients and their families. This emphasis on human assistance contrasts with recent innovations like investment firms’ new skills for Amazon Echo’s Alexa, which enable users to ask for market updates and quotes.
Nationwide’s Care Concierge stands out among firms covered by Annuity Monitor for offering unusually extensive resources. The program helps clients replace services they may have previously accessed through their employer.