Written By: Eric Frokjer
If your organization is still running Open Enrollment with no system and paper forms, you’re not only behind the times in the world of HR technology, but you are also missing out on the many benefits of an online benefits management system. There are a number of benefits vendors, and although the systems differ, they’ll all provide you with benefits below:
- Eliminates or reduces paper enrollment
Let your new system be the system of record for plan and enrollment documents, benefits elections, dependent coverage and associated information (i.e. SSN), and beneficiaries (and all their associated information). No more searching through paper forms in employee files for that missing beneficiary Social Security Number!
- Automate the determination of Benefits Eligibility
Let your new system determine the benefits “offered” to your members based on Categories or characteristics tied to each member (like Full/Part Time Status; Location; State; Job; etc.). This will cut down on any changes you would have needed to make if groups of employees signed up for benefits they weren’t eligible for.
- Access to Benefits materials and elections anytime
Your new system can give members (and if setup, a designated dependent), access to plan documents and their elections almost 24/7/365. The self-service feature will allow them to get the information they need when they need it, and cut down on employee specific inquiries to your benefits administrator.
- Automated Carrier Interfaces
Your new system can cut back or eliminate the need to send paper files, or manually upload electronic files with Automated (EDI) Carrier interfaces, saving you a significant amount of time.
- Expanded Benefits and Carrier Reporting
Most new systems come with lots of Benefits reports (covering a wide variety of needs) and offer Carrier reporting (for those Carriers who can’t accept electronic files), which saves you more time.
- Customizable Life Event Processing
New systems can be configured to allow members and/or Benefits Administrators to initiate updates to Benefits elections based on life events (such as marriage, divorce, birth/adoption, etc.), and what is allowed to be changed for each specific life event.
- Self Service access to online storage of Beneficiary and Dependent information
Allows members to update the information associated with their Beneficiaries and dependents. No longer would you have to worry about data security when receiving dependent and beneficiary information, as well as other identifying information.
- Automated Age-out when Employee or Dependents become ineligible for benefits
System can be configured to drop specific coverages for members or their dependents based on rules set up to determine age.
- Access to tools like: (Medical) Costs Estimator and Disability, Flexible Spending Account (FSA) & Survivor Income Calculators
All of these calculators can help members make better decisions about plans and/or how much to contribute, so you’re empowering your employees to make informed decisions.
- Compliance with limits (or Customizable) for Flexible Spending Accounts
System holds the IRS limit amounts for applicable plans, but allow for clients who want to use a lesser amount.
- Promote Health and Wellness
Links to wellness sites; wellness videos and wellness content can be shared on the new system. Healthier employees usually means happier employees.
- Links to providers
Can attach links to the provider for each specific benefit for your employees to maximize the resources at their fingertips.
- Simplify Administrative processes
Via delivered reports and system tasks created for Benefit Administrators, the Administrative tasks are streamlined and simplified.
- Payroll Integration
Systems allow uploading Demographic data (like Name, Address, SSN, Categories/Characteristics) from the client HR System (HRIS). Systems also allow for the creation of Deduction files that can be uploaded to the client Payroll or HRIS, so that Benefits can be deducted from the employee’s pay.
Now that you know just a few of the ways that an online benefits system can help your department become more efficient, while giving your employees a better experience, the next question becomes which system do you use? HRchitect assists clients with HCM Strategy creation, systems evaluation and selection, as well as implementation and change management to assure maximum results from your technology investment. Let us help your organization find the technology solution that is right for you.
About Eric Frokjer
Eric has over 25 years of experience in the HRMS field. Some of his experience is in implementing Human Resources, Benefits, Payroll and Time & Attendance systems. He has been working with HRchitect since 2012.