Written by Heather Soper
Open Enrollment. Getting correct data to carriers. Communicating plan changes. Life event management. Benefit payroll deductions. If you’re still doing all this manually, there’s a better way.
Employers today are now turning to benefits management software, Benefitfocus for example, to help manage these day in and day out tasks. Here are the top 5 reasons why we love a good benefits platform:
- Employees are able to make their own elections and life event changes.
We still encounter a lot of employers that process all of this manually. In these cases, the HR team will go out to multiple sites during open enrollment to sit down with every single employee individually and make election choices. That is a lot of travel and time! For life events, employees must go into an office and sit down with a member of the benefits team to make election changes, and then provide the proper paperwork and documentation. With a benefits platform, employees can log in to make Open Enrollment (OE) elections or life event changes and be prompted to upload the correct documentation to enroll in the elected benefit. The HR team can make the decision if they want to approve changes in the platform or have them automatically approved.
- Elections are automatically sent to carriers.
A benefits management platform makes it easy to interface with multiple benefits carriers, as the vendor already has existing relationships with carriers. Chances are, the carrier you use is one of them. This means that from OE elections to life event changes, you can rest assured that these selections are being transmitted in a timely, secure manner to the correct carrier so that your employee’s enrollment is assured, and you won’t have any surprises down the line.
- Payroll deductions are automatically sent to your payroll vendor.
Some benefits platform vendors, for example Benefitfocus will also provide a deduction file to your payroll vendors with the correct deduction amount to be withheld each check. We’ve come across a lot of employers whose payroll teams are managing this manually. They receive an enrollment file, and then key in deduction amounts. A good benefits management software will provide your payroll vendor with a file that includes all applicable deductions for your employee’s benefit elections – a hands off process that has the added bonus of reducing human error.
- Additional services like dependent verification and COBRA can be handled for you.
Some platforms also provide additional options, like dependent verification or COBRA. That means someone has your back looking for accurate documentation and approving benefit elections when the documentation is provided or sending out COBRA packets on time and making sure employees are enrolled in the correct plans. These are tasks even the best benefits manager hates the hassle of, so having someone do the work for you is a big win!
- Communication Sites
If you wished there was one place you could put all your plan documentation, employee policies and procedures, open enrollment information, links to carrier sites, etc,. then a benefits management software can provide that for you! Your employees will have one site to go to for information and updates with links to the benefits platform for enrollment or updates, without having to come to HR. You’ll have a lot more time in your day to focus on more strategic activities, and your employees will love self-service.
If you’re interested in what a benefits management software can do for you, talk to the team at HRchitect. Not only are we well versed in helping clients evaluate and select the best benefits management platform for their business, we can also help you implement your new benefits management system, so you are up and running in no time!
About Heather Soper, Implementation Consultant
Heather Soper is an Implementation Consultant at HRchitect with deep expertise assisting clients with Benefits and Core HR / Payroll Systems. Learn more about Heather Soper on LinkedIn.