Are you Ready for Benefits Administration Technology?
Technology to simplify HR functions is extremely useful in automating many of the components of benefit administration. Making the investment and selecting the best solution can seem like an overwhelming process, but it’s a critical one. Choosing what works best for your organization can optimize efficiency, minimize business risks, and even lower your overall benefit program costs. If implemented and used correctly, employees can benefit from enhanced education and communication, leading to a better understanding of benefits and a higher perceived value producing greater employee satisfaction and retention.
As you explore benefits technology options, the following considerations will be useful:
First, clearly identify your organization’s primary motivation for reassessing its benefits technology strategy and evaluation of potential solutions.
Once you are clear on your organization’s objectives, answer the following questions:
- Moving away from paper (e.g. first time using a benefits technology platform)
- Dissatisfied with current benefits technology platform capabilities, service, or cost structure
- Scanning the market for new technology and to ensure your current platform is still the best fit for your organization
- Are you looking for an open enrollment solution only or a year-round platform?
- Does your current payroll system provider offer benefits enrollment solutions?
- If not, do the platforms you are considering integrate with your current payroll system?
- Are your group eligibility rules simple or complex?
- Benefits administration platforms offer varying levels of flexibility to support different group benefits eligibility requirements; therefore, it is important to understand if the vendors you are considering can support your eligibility requirements
- Are you looking for a low or no-cost solution?
- If yes, make sure you understand the terms, contract, access to data, who owns the data, and the exit costs should you decide to change either benefits brokers or benefit administration platforms in the future
Do you need platform management/support?
- To what extent will your team need to be involved with the initial setup and ongoing management of the platform?
- Benefits technology platforms offer either a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model or full-service support
What services do you need?
Understand the cost structure by asking these questions:
- Do you need more than one Human Capital Management module (HCM), e.g., in addition to benefits enrollment, is your organization also looking to integrate payroll, training, compliance, talent acquisition, and/or performance management?
- Benefits administration vendors are generally either stand-alone platforms or part of a broader HCM platform
- Are you looking for ACA reporting, spending account administration, and/or COBRA administration, HR call center support, etc?
- What is the Per Employee Per Month (PEPM) fee? Are there monthly minimums? What services are included for this fee? Are there any annual flat fees? Any implementation fees?
- Are there fees to build out or update EDI feeds?
- What wraparound services are available and at what cost?
- Review a sample contract
Does the vendor offer real-time connectivity with the various insurance carriers and benefit plan providers on the platform, which will save you and your organization time and money and reduce manual entry and errors?
Request a demo of the software to fully understand the platform’s strengths and weaknesses to ensure it will meet your organization’s needs.
Ultimately, if selected and implemented optimally the platform will improve both the employee and HR experiences. You invest a great amount into your group employee benefits. Technology is another way to help you and your employees maximize that investment.
Koppinger & Associates is ready to help you navigate benefits administration, technology and innovation.
We can help you achieve great success.