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5 Ways Technology Can Streamline Benefits Administration

By Adam Moise, Principal

clock August 10, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Marketlink_FB_Graphic-01Administering employee benefits can be time-consuming, but applying technology can help dramatically improve the process.

So what are the most effective ways to manage your benefits program, both from an employer’s and employee’s perspective?

Whether you’re in the early stages of looking for an online solution for your organization or already have one in place, here are five reasons technology will support your long-term goals and what to look for in a benefits administration platform.

1. Streamline enrollment information collection

Many companies have no organized approach to collecting enrollment data. Even today, with so much technology available, many companies still rely on a paper-based process to enroll employees or update benefits information.

With an online system, data collection is aggregated centrally and can be easily accessed and managed by the HR team from any location. Online data management is particularly important for complex benefits offerings, especially for employers with multiple offices, contribution strategies, and eligibility requirements.

2. Incorporate ACA tracking and reporting into your system

The "Affordable Care Act" (ACA) created two new duties to report healthcare information.

Individuals offered company-sponsored health insurance must state whether they had coverage that met the ACA’s requirements. Companies considered an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) also must report that they have complied with the ACA. To verify that information, the IRS created two forms, IRS Form 1095 C and IRS Form 1094 C. Employers can be fined $100 per day for each 1095 C form that has not been submitted to the IRS.

An online benefits administration system can integrate payroll, time and attendance information, so all of the data can be accessed in one location and transmitted seamlessly to the IRS.

3. Provide a self-service administration option for employees

Many employees would prefer 24/7 access to benefits information so they can manage their own benefits. For many employees, nights and weekends are the time when they learn about coverage options or review their existing benefits.

A cloud-based online system provides employees with the opportunity to compare plan features and find answers to questions using a PC, smartphone or tablet. Providing access to benefits information is one of the best ways to empower employees to take charge of their benefits, and it frees up HR staff time for other more strategic purposes.

4. Integrate your systems with your insurance carriers’ systems

Employer systems and insurance company systems often reside in two different worlds. In many instances, neither talk to each other, and the burden of getting your enrollment information to your insurance carriers often falls on HR.

Today, however, electronic data exchange has been established with all major carriers to facilitate the enrollment information flow from your benefits administration system to your carrier partners. Automated workflows can trigger the necessary actions for your employee population and minimize the drain on internal resources.

5. Automate employee communication and education

With online benefits administration, employees can quickly and easily access all of the communications, forms and information they need — without the need of printed handbooks and documents. An online system can also send targeted messages and reminders to keep employees apprised of upcoming deadlines.

By providing online access to all of these materials, you can also track and monitor your employees’ needs and understand the most common issues facing your workforce.

Technology continues to create new opportunities to innovate across all HR functions. By leveraging this technology, employers can save time and money, while improving the benefits administration experience for your employees. Marsh & McLennan Agency, which offers a wide range of technology and innovative solutions, can help you achieve that objective. To learn more about how our proprietary benefits administration platform, MarketLink, is helping clients solve their administrative burdens, click the button below or contact Madalyn Altschuler, madalyn.altschuler@marshmma.com, 858.587.7472.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform

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