As a whole, we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to utilizing technology as it relates to employee benefits. The next five to ten years will bring exciting changes that will revolutionize this industry. This post is about what’s going on today – because too much focus is on the future and we’ll never make the advances needed unless we pay attention to the present.
It’s all too often that we see adoption into a technology for the wrong reasons. Brokers are constantly on the defense to retain existing business and win new BOR’s and have yet to catch up with a proactive approach when technology is a part of the conversation – which is almost all of the time. Their clients expect them to guide them in the right direction when it comes to the most effective way to automate, yet many are left without a strategy to address this key component of benefits administration…which often results in placing their client with a solution that’s the wrong fit.
Long gone are the days of a simple enrollment tool. There are not many organizations looking for a short-term solution for open enrollment. They want to solve problems they face every day, not once a year. Technology that assists with new hires, life event changes and open enrollment are becoming the norm. Take that a step further to onboarding, ACA compliance, PTO tracking and other functionality, and you’ll see that certain solutions on the market quickly start to lose their attraction.
The market has evolved and with benefits technology in particular, we see an influx of platforms attempting to solve problems. The issue is that most of these start-ups have no idea about employee benefits delivery and instead weigh in heavily on their knowledge of technology alone.
I have seen my share of platforms that have a super-slick user interface and cool features they love to tout – but when you open up the hood, there is a hamster on a wheel.
What lies behind a technology platform is just as important as what the front end looks like. Insurance is complex, plan designs are complex. Rules and contingencies, as well as all of the intricacies that come with rates and eligibility, quickly start to break down when a platform can’t handle the tangled web of this industry.
Before you go and invest in a technology solution, make sure you do your homework. Cost should be one of the things you evaluate – but not the first thing you evaluate.
I’ll be following up with a series of posts that dive deeper into what to look for in a benefits technology solution. If you have any specific items you’d love to hear about or if you have a question about benefits technology and want to have a conversation, pick up the phone and call me: (203) 985-1714.