Businesses offer benefits plans to their employees in part to retain top talent, but also to comply with labor laws. But health, dental, and vision insurance for employees is only step one in boosting retention and remaining compliant. Step two is implementing and managing those benefits throughout the entire employee lifecycle. After all, even the best benefits plan can cause frustration in the workplace and result in non-compliance if not managed well, resulting in a high turnover rate and the risk of fines and litigation.
Even a minor error while updating an employee’s life status change or a delay in processing information may result in declined medical bills or incorrect take-home pay. Whether a small or large error, employee satisfaction may decrease. If this happens on a large scale, employee engagement and satisfaction can drop companywide.
For businesses that don’t have the resources to hire a team of in-house benefits specialists, the best alternative is a managed benefits administration.
What is a managed benefits administration?
Managed benefits administration allows a trusted outsourcing partner to do the heavy lifting of benefits administration. This includes online enrollment and decision tools, premium funding, flexible spending account administration, COBRA administration, retirement plan integration, Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, benefits reconciliation, and invoicing.
The overarching benefit of managed benefits administration is a streamlined benefits administration that lowers employee turnover rate and ensures compliance with labor laws. Here’s how that happens.
More time spent on strategic planning
Typically, HR spends a majority of its time focused on non-strategic matters like assisting employees with their health coverage or maintaining records. During open-enrollment, HR enters its busiest time of the year, and this makes it almost impossible for HR staff to come up with innovative ideas to boost engagement, build company culture, or retain high-performing employees.
By using a managed benefits administration, the hassles of open enrollment and other administrative work is shifted off the shoulders of HR onto an outsourcing partner. Letting someone else handle non-strategic matters frees HR to meet the expectations CEOs have like, matching talent resources with company strategy and improving onboarding processes.
Fewer problems and faster resolutions
Whether you’re the broker, HR, or employee, no one likes mistakes when it comes to benefits. When multiple systems are used or benefits are managed poorly, mistakes will happen. Managed benefits administration becomes the perfect fit between the broker-client relationship and the client-employee relationship. Brokers and HR can rest easy knowing that a team of experts is managing benefits. No longer do HR personnel and the broker need to operate alone. A managed benefits administration can work directly with benefits carriers to troubleshoot any problems, while assisting in communications and monitoring data to prevent problems in the future.
In 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigated over 635,000 brokers and 3,900 securities firms and found that 727 individuals had been suspended and 517 had been barred. At the same time 26 firms were suspended and 24 were expelled. For a start-up business, selecting the right firm and broker can be critical to ensuring clean processes and data security.
Companies that outsource enjoy a managed benefits administration that has already developed trusted relationships with brokers and firms. The risk of being caught up in fraud and insider trading is mitigated and helps build a foundation of trust between brokers and their clients.
Ease of use
Using a managed benefits administration creates a one-stop shop for employees. It is simple for an employee or an administrator to manage the entire employee lifecycle in one place. If an employee needs to report a life status change, they only need to log into one system. From there a team of experts will do the legwork to ensure there are no roadblocks to employees receiving the correct benefits they need for themselves and their families.
All the benefits, reduce the hassles
When it comes to benefits administration, HR and brokers want the same thing: a well-functioning, easy-to-use system and clean processes. With the right technology, employees can select and make changes to their plans when needed. Brokers can also have access to knowledge about benefits use and help prepare a better plan for the upcoming year; this allows in-house HR to focus on being strategic while a team of experts takes care of non-strategic matters.
About the Author
Delores is a Benefits Operations Specialist for Zuman. She joined Zuman after serving the past eleven years in human resources with The Men's Wearhouse and ThinkHR. Delores has a BS in Business Administration from the California State University, East Bay.More Content by Delores Krishna