The employee benefits landscape is an increasingly complex space in which to maneuver. Employers tasked with the job of maintaining ACA compliance and faced with an ever-growing workload of benefits administrative duties are feeling the strain of a complicated benefits environment.
While it was once possible to manually handle all benefits administration internally, many employers now discern the need to move to automated benefits solutions to ease their administrative burdens and more effectively manage compliance issues.
This flight to automation brings with it a new set of potential issues for employers. Choosing benefit automation solutions that truly address the needs of your organization is a considerable challenge. Without proper information and guidance, it is difficult to navigate the somewhat choppy waters of benefits automation today.
Our platform-agnostic approach to automation transformation is designed to provide our clients with the intimate knowledge and confidence they need when choosing the right platform for their enterprise.
Without the guidance of an automation expert, choosing from the variety of automation solutions is a difficult decision for many organizations contemplating a change. Ever-evolving technologies coupled with rapid changes in the benefits landscape bewilder many employers, further complicating an already challenging situation. Historically, more choices do not always equal better outcomes.
There are so many automation choices available that it is easy for employers to either make a wrong choice or make no choice at all because of a kind of decision paralysis. While making a poor choice leads to abundant headaches down the road, making no choice at all may be equally disastrous.
At a minimum, employers need to be seriously thinking about how to transition from managing their benefits on paper to utilizing some form of automation. It seems likely that those who prosper will be those who have chosen automation wisely.
Before an employer commits to any automation solution, a best practice is to decide which critical functions need to be automated. For instance, some of the functions you might choose to automate might include:
Determining which or how many of these functions are to be automated, and in what priority, will help us collectively choose the right automation platform. At its best, benefits automation will accomplish four main objectives. They are:
And beyond critical functions and top objectives, automation alleviates common trouble spots in administrative processes; reconciling carrier bills and premium invoices is often difficult. Staff turnover, changes in life circumstances of employees, and dependent children who reach the cut-off age for coverage under parent plans are all areas where manual administrative processes often go awry. Additionally, the changing compliance issues around the ACA are hot spots for future administrative burdens.
To ease concerns in these common problem areas, it is a good practice for the majority of employers to look for an automation platform that provides:
There can be no doubt that employee benefits administration comes with many challenges and pain points for employers today. While multiple choices exist for dealing with these challenges, benefits automation offers significant advantages including: increased efficiencies, better benefits communication and continuing education, increased compliance with all regulatory mandates, and easing of administrative burdens.
To achieve the best possible results, it is wise to partner with a professional, knowledgeable benefits consultant who will help you navigate the complexities of the healthcare environment today. Tapping into the expertise of a consultant and choosing the right benefits automation platform for your company will enable you to bend the cost curve while still providing the type of benefits offering that will attract and retain top talent in your field.