Digitizing Employee Benefits Administration
Some industries have taken advantage of distributed workforces for years. Tech companies, for example, have had time to experiment with different ways to effectively manage teams working remotely. Ready or not, 2020 has seen a major shift for many organizations towards a remote (at home) workforce.
Today’s workplace communication and collaboration technologies like Slack, Zoom, Dialpad and others have helped organizations make the switch quickly. But when moving from a centralized workforce to a remote one, some administrative operations that rely on people working under the same roof have now become increasingly complex, time-consuming, and error-prone.
Employee group benefits administration falls squarely into this category.
Adapting processes to the future of work
Even in 2020, most organizations are resigned to manual, paper-driven ben admin processes. These processes are in place to meet insurance carrier requirements and are often accepted because of a tendency to ignore problems that don’t have solutions. Problem-blindness sums up group benefits technology today.
The future of work can’t be fully realized without compensation technology keeping pace. Benefits are an essential part of an employee’s compensation package and continue to increase in complexity faster than many technologies can adapt. For example, trends towards modular flex programs, flexible spending accounts, and multi-carrier plans just to name a few.
Even in the simplest plans, challenges that plague benefits administration include: the frustrating complexities of traditional plan member onboarding, admin systems and processes plagued with usability issues, billing cut offs, and month-end reconciliation. In addition, these processes are often paper-driven, require duplicate data entry, and are supported by inadequate reporting.
Meaningful ben admin solutions
This all sounds daunting, and likely all-too-familiar to those readers who work with traditional systems day to day. We at Effortless Admin work continuously with our plan sponsor and benefit advisor partners to find the way forward to a comprehensive, long term solution to these issues. Here are just a few examples that relate to onboarding:
It’s 2020, onboarding should be paperless
Employees should be able to enroll themselves, on whatever device they have easy access to, through employee self-service onboarding. This way they can provide their data, including beneficiaries and plan elections. But it shouldn’t stop there, the enrollment shouldn’t end in paper, even if it starts digitally. A simple e-signature would ensure that the enrollment process is quick, easy and doesn’t require unnecessary followup on behalf of your organization.
Plan administrators should have simple tools that allow them to easily stay on top of their outstanding enrollments. Tools that proactively keep them in the loop and reduce the chance of late applicants.
In practice, when organizations adopt paperless onboarding processes they can save up to 90% of the time they used to invest in managing paper-driven enrollment processes. In light of real experiences like these, sticking to paper is just crazy.
See the onboarding experience in action
Digital delivery, direct to the employee
Once an employee is enrolled, they need information about their new plan. This often includes benefits booklets, health and dental claims ID cards etc. Traditionally this has been delivered as paper documentation that needs to be physically distributed. Nowadays it’s often distributed by way of email, which still needs to be manually distributed, only electronically. A not so obvious problem with each of these approaches is that they are not secure.
Information should be delivered automatically, electronically, and securely directly to the newly eligible employees. Proper digital delivery like this ensures timely and secure access to important information about the benefits program you are extending to your employees.
Learn more about the plan member experience
Flex Plans should add flexibility… not arduous process
Do you offer a flexible spending account or a modular flex plan? These are great products for employees but the processes for managing them are cumbersome at best. These programs are typically manual, error-prone and costly in both time and effort for your administration team, not to mention your employee population.
Flexible spending accounts and modular flex re-enrollment should be even simpler than an employee’s initial digital onboarding. Automatic, simple and secure re-enrollments - no paper.
See modular flex enrollment and re-enrollment in action
The solution highlights the problem
Taking some time to unpack what an efficient digital administration experience should look like brings to light the administration challenges that many organizations are experiencing today. Transitioning to a true digital solution would save significant time, effort and cost and increase data compliance.
What if it existed?
Here at Effortless Admin, we started by tackling the efficiencies described above (with a bunch of other digital efficiencies mixed in along the way). We don’t have it all figured out but we wake up each and every day with a single focused goal of bringing solutions to complex problems. And there is always more work to be done.
Are there other administrative functions that take up too much of your team’s time? Can you think of any redundant processes you perform or liabilities that exist? Please let us know, maybe we have a solution for it. If we don’t let’s talk about building a solution that solves that problem in a meaningful way. We would love to hear from you.
Get in touch
- Why Employers ❤️ Effortless Admin
- How Leading Benefits Administration Platforms can put You in Control of Your Data
- (Mis)perceptions of the State of Benefits Admin Technology
- Why Platform Integrations are the Future of HR Tech
- Meet Effortless Admin’s Newest Partner: HRWARE
- Meet Effortless Admin’s Newest Partner: BambooHR