Benefits are a critical component of your company's compensation plan. Employees may rely on you for healthcare, life insurance, dental coverage, health savings accounts, and more. Often companies think about the employee experience related to benefits or how challenging it is for HR staff to manage benefits administration. But it's important to take time to determine how friendly your benefits administration system is for carriers and consider how the right technology could streamline and simplify your benefits process.
Why carrier relationships matter
Companies interact with carriers around a range of benefits issues, including onboarding new employees, terminating former staff, and updating routine information. The process can be simple, straightforward, and effective or frustrating and riddled with delays. When your benefits administration system streamlines communication with carriers, it's usually easier to obtain fast service for routine updates and to address problems when they arise. Using benefits administration systems for communicating with carriers may also play a role in negotiating better rates.
Basic communications and data sharing
Companies operating without a benefits administration system may still be mailing or faxing enrollment and other benefits-related documents to carriers. Not only does this approach lead to delays in the process, but it creates unnecessary administrative work for employees and HR staff. A benefits administration system that facilitates data sharing can make it easy for your team to update information in the system and seamlessly transmit it to the carrier. Changes are nearly instantaneous and minimize paperwork at both ends of the process. Automated data sharing can help to virtually eliminate errors and improve satisfaction among staff, employees, and benefits partners.
A wide range of benefits regulations affect businesses. For example, it's often important to track details such as benefits eligibility, verify life events, enforce waiting periods, and more. Businesses also have to keep track of paperwork, from confirmation that benefits were declined to Form W-2 reporting requirements. A benefits administration system that interfaces automatically with carriers can streamline and simplify this process by automating large segments of the process. In many cases, a benefits administration system can also help keep companies in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.
Data aggregation and reporting
HR teams require up-to-date benefits information for many reasons, from reporting census data to the government to determining important financial metrics. A benefits administration system can automatically pull information from carrier systems and merge it with payroll information, minimizing errors in data management. Using an automated system can also minimize unnecessary reporting requests to carriers.
Companies that are seeking better visibility and control of their benefits data should evaluate their benefits administration system. Not only does it improve data management, but the right benefits administration system can simplify your interactions with carriers and improve collaboration.