There are a number of benefits enrollment software solutions on the market. A good benefits enrollment solution should make the enrollment process more efficient, save on benefits costs, trim leakage, and help with compliance. To help navigate the process of selecting an enrollment solution, we compiled a list of the 4 most important features to look for in benefits enrollment software.
1. Decision Support Tools
These tools are all about helping employees make decisions about what benefit plans are right for them, especially for those unfamiliar with insurance terms. And guess what? Most employees are likely ill-informed: UnitedHealthcare estimates that only 7 percent of the U.S. population knows what all the following insurance terms mean: premium, deductible, out-of-pocket maximum and co-insurance.
A self-help glossary is an incredibly important part of decision support tool functionality and should be present in any solution. It gives employees all the definitions for those “tough-to-understand” insurance terms. Another core component of an employee choosing a plan is understanding whether a doctor is in the plan’s network or not. The availability of a “Find My Doctor” tool also proves incredibly helpful in this regard.
The last core component around employees making decisions on their health and voluntary plans relate to the affordability and cost. As they’re going through the enrollment process it’s important to have automatic calculation tools as different plans are selected, added, or removed to help the employee understand exactly what changes will cost them. What an employer may contribute to various plans on an employee’s behalf is also important along with other useful means for determining an employee’s total out of pocket expense for health and voluntary benefits. Ultimately, you want these tools to be present within your software solution to better simplify the overall process and to best assist your employees.
2. Connection to Carriers
Carrier Connection or carrier feeds allow companies to automatically get enrollment and other benefit information to insurance carriers for the four types of benefit changes (open enrollment, new enrollments, life changes and terminations).
Historically, only large companies could connect directly to their carriers through EDI or 834 file feeds, and this process would take anywhere from 6-12 weeks, just to set up. Having to manually input or fax data to your carrier can take a significant amount of time, not to mention how long it takes updating this information for life change events or correcting errors. Carrier Connectivity gives you piece of mind in being able to effectively and efficiently communicate with your carrier and reduces opportunity for errors in coverage.
3. Administrative Tools / Dashboard
Communication to employees about enrollment should be automated, and easy. Administrative tools, like email templates for open enrollment and eligibility, help to get that job done. Customizable eligibility rules ensure that a plan’s policies will fit the solution, not the other way around. The same goes for flexible contribution definitions – whether it’s a flat rate for employees, a percentage of the total premium, or if it’s age band-related; make sure the software can easily accommodate the policies selected.
Most enrollment solutions already have census reporting and access capabilities, however it’s more important to have access controls for the insurance broker, too. This gives all stakeholders relevant information to assist with support, while also providing a new quote once renewal paperwork from the insurance carrier(s) is received. Deduction exports/configurations and a direct connection to an employer’s payroll / human resources software is a must, as it easily allows calculations to be made for payroll deductions that need to occur for each employee. Remember, technology exists to make our lives easier!
4. Compliance Tools
Staying compliant with the law is a looming issue for every business that offers benefits to their employees. If a solution being considered does not have accurate compliance tools such as summary of benefits and coverage documents, RUN. For example, a common compliance concern for most employers involves following COBRA regulation. When an employee gains coverage, to comply with COBRA, the business must send out COBRA initial and qualifying event notices that let the employee and their dependents know they still have access to their company benefits if they experience a COBRA qualifying event. Not having the tools to facilitate the sending of these notices may cause unintended noncompliance issues.
Effectively and efficiently managing benefits enrollment and administration can be a hard task, but finding the right software solution that meets a business’ specific needs saves both time and money, eliminates errors, and frees up valuable resources. It’s time to handle benefits changes more easily and deliver information to carriers at the touch of a button.
If you have any questions about our Benefits Enrollment Software, feel free to reach out to us or request a demo! Contact us today so we can start the conversation on how your company can benefit from better benefits management software.