Improvements in the administration of voluntary benefits save time and money
Voluntary benefits allow employees to self-insure against their unique risks. These products, which can include accidents, critical illness, hospital benefits, and identity theft, to name a few, have existed in the past outside of standard health insurance packages, disability or life of a business. And that’s a problem.
A disjointed and ineffective voluntary benefits strategy can mean employees miss out on core benefit offerings, and HR professionals face a laborious and risk-ridden process, which could lead to problems. of compliance.
Smart business speak with Gallagher Benefits Services Regional VP of Voluntary Benefits Suzi Tamborelle and Central Ohio Market Leader Vince Giacalone talk about a more efficient, streamlined, and cost-effective way to deploy voluntary benefits.
What issues exist in the way voluntary benefits are typically deployed?
The way voluntary benefits have typically been rolled out in businesses involves an insurance representative speaking one-on-one with employees and signing up those who are interested. HR receives a payroll deductions list that shows the amount that must be deducted for each employee for the products they have selected and HR enters these deductions into their payroll system. The process is not synchronized with the normal cycle of healthcare benefits, benefits are not communicated in the same way, and often they cannot be hosted on the company’s existing insurance administration system. It’s hit and miss and inefficient leading to low adoption and a very inconsistent administrative process for HR.
Today, these voluntary benefit implementations can and should be configured to synchronize with a company’s existing payroll and benefits administration module. So when a new employee comes on board, they can purchase voluntary benefits in exactly the same way they do for all standard benefits. And because these modules are rule-based systems through a single point of entry, the process becomes more compliant, effective and efficient for the HR department to administer and bill for these products.
How does this system help employees?
When voluntary insurance products are accessed through an employer’s existing benefits administration system, it becomes easier for employees to explore the different product offerings. elect on the system.
In today’s workforce, there are five generations at work. Voluntary Benefits have some products suitable for someone nearing retirement and others for a person in their twenties who is starting to plan for their family. Employees can choose what best suits their personal needs and circumstances.
How could HR benefit from this?
On the HR side, incorporating voluntary benefits into their benefits system eliminates the paper-based process and streamlines administration while eliminating errors through a rules-based system. On a benefits administration system, once an employee makes a choice, the data of the choice can be automatically sent to the carrier while sending the information directly to payroll so that deductions can be made. Integrating all of these automated steps improves overall efficiency, makes HR more compliant, and will reduce errors that can lead to penalties or errors in elections or deductions. It also means that rather than running HR by collecting paper claims, submitting them to an insurance company, and reconciling invoices, they can devote their time to strategic organizational initiatives.
These programs can be used by businesses with as few as 20 employees. And the larger the company, the more economies of scale come into play. Similar processes can be deployed for employers who only have a payroll system, but no benefits administration module.
Brokers who champion this holistic approach can help businesses diagnose where inefficiencies currently lie and come up with solutions to create an integrated strategy that can leverage employers’ existing system to maximize efficiency.
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