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How to Manage Benefits with Benefits Administration Software

Today’s HR professionals have it easy. Well, they do if you compare their jobs to those of yesteryear, anyway. Thanks to an abundance of HR software popping up, today’s human resources departments have a much easier time taking care of their day-to-day tasks. One of the more complicated of those tasks is benefits management, better known as employee benefits administration. Luckily, managing the complex processes of this task can be done with benefits administration software.

When it comes to benefits administration software, you have two options. One option is to use an employee benefits module available from a human capital management (HCM) vendor. Your other option is to use a standalone benefits administration software. Whichever option you choose, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the benefits (pun not intended).

What you may be wondering by now is, what all can you do with benefits administration software? Well, here are five ways you can use these software solutions to manage employee benefits:

Help Clarify Decisions for Your Employees

First and foremost, benefits administration software can help clarify the decisions your employees make on their benefit plans. The benefit plan that an employee chooses is one of their most crucial decisions, based on how it’ll affect them financially. But the descriptions of each plan can be confusing and complex, making the decision difficult to make.

Benefits administration software helps clarify what each plan offers and how it affects them. Not only are there descriptions, but many vendors also come with enrollment decision support tools. These tools help your employees choose the right plan for them, based on multiple factors. The main factor is the most obvious: their financial situation, including their current salary.

The other factor is their risk tolerance. Taking this factor into account helps employees who don’t have serious health issues look for plans that are low-cost with minimal coverage. And at the same time, employees who have histories of issues (or if their dependents do) can choose a pricier plan that provides more thorough coverage.

Ultimately, what matters most is that your employees choose the right plan for them, which keeps them happy. Benefits administration software helps them get there.

Shopify the Benefit Enrollment Experience

Understanding each available benefit plan is, unfortunately, only half the battle. The second half, which can be just as much of a hassle, is the actual benefit enrollment. Even if your employees understand each plan, they still have to compare each one thoroughly. That’s why many benefits administration software vendors try to make the experience similar to your average online shopping. Several vendors provide comparison tools so your employees can compare plans side-by-side, making their decision easier to make.

Additionally, like any good HR software, benefits administration solutions provide an employee self-service portal. This way you can go through the actual enrollment process whenever you want to, rather than sometime in the middle of the day.

And let’s be honest, most of your employees probably don’t have their dependents’ social security numbers memorized. For their sake, it’s better to let them take care of that part at home, where they can look at the social security cards without feeling the shame of staring blankly at a piece of paper in front of someone from the HR department.

Monitor Changes to Benefit Plans

Continuing with the theme of helping your employees, benefits administration software also helps you monitor changes to your available benefit plans. As you probably know, changes to prices and enrollment requirements aren’t an uncommon occurrence. Your employees, however, might not know that. And if they don’t, they may just stick with their previous plans, unaware of a price hike or new requirements that they may not meet.

If this happens, those employees are likely to find out the hard way. But you can help them avoid that mishap by using benefits administration software. These solutions have features that can help you monitor any changes to your benefit plans, so you can keep track of everything that’s changed year-to-year. With this information in hand, you can communicate it to your employees before the enrollment period starts, so they’re prepared to choose an alternate plan if need be.

Monitoring changes doesn’t just benefit your employees, however. You can also relay this information to your finance department before open enrollment begins. If certain plans become too expensive, your business may no longer be able to afford them. In this case, your finance department would have to make the decision to eliminate the plan entirely. But without benefits administration software, they wouldn’t have the necessary information to make that decision.

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Leverage Your Benefits Administration Data

Today’s business world is all about data, data, data. The more you can use the data you have, the better. To some, benefits administration data may not appear to be useful. But if you know how to use that data, it can provide several benefits, especially for small businesses and medium-sized businesses.

You can use benefits administration software to find the most and least popular benefit plans. In addition, you can discover which demographics lean towards which plans. Both of these analyses can help your future planning, as you decide which plans you should keep, and which you should get rid of.

Benefitfocus shed some light on a few other uses for your benefits administration data. One of the simpler uses is to track your business’ benefits spend, comparing finances year-to-year. You can also determine the ROI of your wellness programs, if you have any. And you can even forecast your future benefits spend based on previous years. Using this information, you can model the cost impact of changes to benefit plans, so you can accurately plan for the future.

Meet Compliance Standards

Meeting compliance is one of the most important aspects of business. You never want to face any fees or penalties for not meeting compliance, not to mention it damages your reputation as a company. If you don’t meet the necessary standards, it can hurt both your recruiting efforts and your employee retention efforts, as employees and prospective talent alike may see your business as one that doesn’t care about its employees’ wellbeing. If you use benefits administration software, however, you can get proactive about getting what you need done in order to meet compliance.

Benefits Bridge describes how it can help you meet various compliance standards: “Benefits administration software can help your company remain legally compliant with EEOC, ERISA and ACA regulations. Benefits administrators and HR professionals can set up customized reports that track certain aspects of employee management, such as hiring and onboarding completion, paid time off and leave management, enrollment information and changes to employee classifications. Under the ACA, end-of-year reporting is simplified with automated reports that can be generated to ensure the organization is meeting current guidelines.”

Rather than compliance becoming a painstaking process, it can be managed easily when you use software to do so.

Plenty of Benefits

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits (this time, pun intended) to using benefits administration software. It makes a complex process more manageable, while providing data-driven insight and monitoring capabilities. All of this adds up to an easier workload for HR professionals, and a little extra free time each day. What could you do with a little more time on your hands? You can find out if you adopt benefits administration software.

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