benefitexpress April 8, 2021 3 min read

Top Benefits Administration Trends for Mid-Market Employers

Taking a look at benefits administration trends in the era of COVID-19

benefitexpress partnered with Employee Benefit News/Arizent to help brokers understand employers’ needs and challenges as they navigate COVID-19. The results from this research can also be used to provide employers with a peer-based perspective to help inform and support their benefits decision-making.

An online survey was conducted in July/August 2020 among 102 respondents at large employers, defined as those with 3,000-20,000 employees. All respondents are involved in decisions related to employee benefits technology (defined as technology that enables employers to capture enrollment participation, claims status, benefits administration, new hires/terminates etc.).

Below we will discuss some of our key takeaways from the online survey.

The rise of mental health benefits

As employers navigate these uncertain times, several HR/benefits challenges have arisen, with the most prominent being the rising importance of mental health benefits and changing employee benefit needs. Specific to the benefits administration process, reduced in-house resources and security vulnerabilities caused by employees’ devices/networks are challenges employers are most often struggling with.

In the next 6-12 months, employers’ top priorities are employee education and benefit options evaluation. For longer-term benefits changes, employers are most likely to expand remote work policies, mental health support and telemedicine.

Advanced benefits technology

While usage of benefits administration technology is ubiquitous among large employers (94%), about threequarters are evaluating the need to switch/invest in benefits technology over the next 12-18 months, and employers cite data security and compliance as the biggest decision factors.

Among benefits technology users, data security and compliance needs are the most likely to be fulfilled by current providers; however, providers are under-performing in many areas, including AI, ease of administration and high touch consultative service.

Brokers and technology partners should look to drive employee training and a seamless transition process as these are the biggest barriers for employers switching benefits technology.

A peer-based perspective

The results from our research will provide you with a peer-based perspective as you make your future benefits decisions.

Want to learn more about how to support employers' needs? Check out a more detailed version of our survey by downloading our benefits administration trends report today!