Cost is one of the major factors in selecting an online benefits enrollment system. HR should be able to budget the monthly and annual expense for online enrollment services.
The Minimum to Expect from a Benefit Administration Partner:
- Set up of a web site for enrollment
- Set up of plan rules for eligibility, rates, new hires, and life events
- Verified results of these set ups
- Electronic transfer of:
- Employee data
- Deduction files to payroll
- EDI files to insurance companies/discrepancy handling
- A seamless transition from one plan year to the next
- Maintained HIPAA standards
Benefit administration companies should provide a base per employee per month fee, which may fluctuate if your population changes. Often times, companies will guarantee rates for the duration of the contract.
Annual changes to plans/rates involve setup, verification, and usually reprogramming interfaces to carriers. These basic modifications can be budgeted. It is more difficult; however, to anticipate the cost when changing carriers and/or making major plan changes. Be sure to ask your benefit administration company what the anticipated costs are if you decide to change carriers or make major plan changes.
While there are many types of tools available to help ensure employees are more educated, the amount of assistance needed is different in each organization. Most tools provide some assistance, but the more elaborate the instruction; the more likely it will involve additional costs.
This feature allows employees to access their benefit information seamlessly through their corporate intranet. Employees have less usernames and passwords to remember allowing for less confusion and easier access to their benefit information.
Support of Additional Plans
Some organizations believe that it is beneficial to have one vendor support all of their benefit plans beyond the core benefits, such as: COBRA, HSA, HRA, FSA, Transit, Leave of Absence, Tuition Reimbursement, Retirees, etc. An option to single administration would be having a single enrollment portal and information sent (hardcopy or electronic) to the other administrator. Many times benefit administration companies will offer a bundled package where you can get these services at a discount for consolidating with one provider.