Now or Never: Tips for Changing Health Insurance Brokers

 

Make the most of the Benefits You Offer

 

The impact of strategic benefits can be significant for recruiting and retaining talent, according to the Evolution of Benefits report from the Society for Human Resource Management. Compared with organizations that don’t use benefits as a way to attract and engage employees, organizations that do report better overall company performance (34% vs. 58%) and above-average effectiveness in retention (11% vs. 28%). 

As healthcare legislation continues to change and technology options evolve, it's crucial that companies carefully select partners who will help them secure the right benefit plans and human capital management (HCM) solutions that make it easy to administer those plans.

 

Working with a benefits broker

The world of benefits is complex. When employers offer benefits, they do so understanding they’ll have to contend with many challenges such as:

  • Escalating health care costs

  • The popularity of new voluntary benefits

  • Security requirements around employee data

  • Changing or nuanced regulations within the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

 

These conditions require expertise and insight to avoid costly errors and legal issues. 

 

Given these challenges, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that providing benefits isn’t cheap either. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that private industry employers spent an average of $10.37 per hour worked on employee benefit costs, which was almost 30% of total compensation costs. Make the wrong or uninformed choices about benefits and it will cost you.

 

Although small and medium-size businesses may not have the luxury of an in-house benefits administrator or expert, benefits brokers can provide strategic advice and help your team:

 

  • Understand which benefits will be the most meaningful for employees   

  • Estimate your benefits costs and calculate the ability to purchase and offer the best plans

  • Evaluate the deductibles and other costs your employees will pay for various plans

  • Offer access to quality plans, and potentially negotiate for discounted rates

 

Not surprisingly, health insurance is the most common benefit organizations offer to their employees. If your organization has more than 50 employees, it is required by the ACA to offer healthcare benefits. But there are other benefits to consider such as pet insurance, legal services, retirement investments, and elder care, among others. Some employers may provide as many as 20 types of benefits to their employees to supplement or replace cash-based compensation.

 

If you want to use strategic benefits to your advantage, it’s best to work with an expert like a benefits broker who can help you get the most out of the investments you and your employees make. And, to ensure your employees are engaged about and have access to your benefits, you need a platform that makes it easy for them to do so.

 

Administering benefits through an HCM 

Once you’ve selected the benefits you want to offer, it’s critical that you make it easy for employees to select, enroll, and review their benefit plans. It’s also essential that you be able to track every step of enrollment and eligibility to better monitor plan participation and stay on top of changes to employees’ plan selection so you can avoid paying for dependents who are no longer eligible to be on the plan. 

The easiest way to streamline benefits administration is to integrate benefits within your HCM. Many HCMs offer the option to do so; however, all systems are not created equal. As you consider how to use a modern HCM to administer benefits, keep these essential features in mind:

  • Connection between payroll, benefits, and HR: Your benefits plans should not be in a silo. For truly streamlined processes and data management, choose an HCM that integrates benefits data with payroll, finance, and HR. 

  • Employee access to data: Whether it’s during onboarding, open enrollment, or a life event, an HCM should allow employees to view and update their data through employee self-service (ESS). The best ESS portals are easy to understand and provide information about benefit costs, comparisons, and eligibility.

  • Flexibility in administrator view options: When administrators receive employee questions during enrollment, it’s much easier for them to offer assistance and answer questions if they can switch from their “admin view” to the employee’s view, and see exactly what the employee’s screen shows.

  • Automated, data-based updates: Benefit options may change based on location, role, or tenure. Manually tracking these changes is not only time consuming but also risky. To ensure you’re meeting requirements, your HCM technology should automatically make updates based on any data that changes in an employee’s record (e.g., move to a new state, dependent ages out of eligibility).

 

SyncHR’s integrated, cloud-based HCM platform provides robust features to help businesses and their benefits brokerage partners efficiently and effectively administer both required and voluntary benefits offerings. 

 

From an employee’s first day of employment to their last, SyncHR empowers employees to make the most of the benefits you offer. With a system like SyncHR that integrates payroll, finance, and HR, administrators have access to all the relevant data they need to track benefits spending and enrollment. 

 

As this image illustrates, an administrator can use SyncHR to quickly identify how many employees have activated the benefits process, how many are in progress and how many have submitted their enrollment. It’s also easy to see how many employees are ineligible for benefits.

 

 

Combined with financial reports about the cost of benefits, HR and finance teams can review what’s working and what’s not to make recommendations to enhance benefit program usage and success. Leaders will find value in the many reports that provide insights into how benefits impact employee engagement as well as the bottom line.

 

If you’re like most organizations, benefits are one of your largest expenses. Partnering with a benefits broker and using intuitive, integrated HCM tools will help you track and navigate the costs so you can give your employees the benefits they need to feel secure in their jobs and their lives. An integrated system will not only help you, it will also empower employees to leverage these benefits. Make the most of your investment  by choosing a modern HCM that offers the benefits access, administration, and automation you need.

 

Learn more about how SyncHR can help you supercharge your benefits administration and deliver greater value to your employees and the business. Schedule a demo or free consultation.

 

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