4 Services HR Professionals Need to Successfully Manage Employee Benefits

It’s no secret that HR professionals have a lot on their plates. From hiring, running payroll, administering employee benefits, performance management and so much more, HR professionals’ often feel overworked. While HR does have a lot of responsibilities, the amount of work they are responsible for isn’t necessarily why they feel so overworked. They might believe that’s the case, but the truth is: it’s their processes that are bogging them down.

HR professionals: think about managing and administering benefits. How much time did you spend last Open Enrollment (OE) entering data across your tech stack? Were you entering payroll deductions in both your payroll system and BenAdmin system every time an employee changed coverage? How much time did you spend sending enrollment information to carriers? It was likely a lot of time.

That’s just OE. We’re not even talking about half the administrative burden that HR professionals feel because of managing benefits. HR teams feel the burden even more when you factor in managing COBRA, verifying dependents, and reconciling carrier invoices.

Let’s face it: we appreciate our rockstar HR teams, but they’re not superhuman. They need help. Outsourcing benefits administration is a strategic move for a business. Here are four useful services that can help HR save time and focus on more strategic initiatives:

Work with an employee benefits technology partner

The administrative burden from OE (and really year-round) is often the result of an ineffective benefits technology solution. Benefits technology should put more time back into the days of HR teams. If a technology solution isn’t helping HR save time, then it’s not solving for anything.

Manually entering data is a thing of the past. HR teams need technology that will streamline benefits administration by automatically sending data across your tech stack and to carriers. Take payroll, for example. Anytime there is an enrollment change in the BenAdmin system, HR won’t have to manually change payroll deductions in the payroll system. Instead, that data will automatically flow from the BenAdmin system to the payroll system. In an already hectic OE period, this saves HR hours of time.

The most effective HR strategies deploy best-of-breed technology for each component of HR. Many benefits advisors and employers will see all-in-one HCM systems as a practical HR technology solution. These systems, however, are usually built around payroll, while the functionality for other HR components suffers.

With so many clunky systems (like all-in-one technology) out there, the lines between good and bad technology become blurred. This is where a benefits technology partner comes into play. Technology partners will take a deep dive into their clients needs and challenges to identify a best-fit solution. Once a best-fit solution is identified, technology partners deploy a group of experts to build out, test, and maintain a platform for on-going support. In an industry of lack-luster client service, HR needs this kind of service.

Work with a COBRA partner

The most daunting task associated with administering employee benefits is COBRA administration. Managing COBRA is an especially challenging task given the consequences for even one small misstep. Employers are exposed to legislative headaches and hefty penalties because of mistakes.

Working with a COBRA partner can bring HR teams peace of mind by knowing that they’re staying compliant. External providers are well-versed in current federal and state regulations, reducing the risk of costly compliance errors and penalties.

COBRA compliance involves complex and time-consuming tasks such as verifying eligibility, processing enrollment forms, and tracking premium payments. However, this is another example of poor processes leading to more headaches. External COBRA providers deploy systems that automate time-consuming tasks. These systems ensure timely notifications and accurate tracking of election periods. COBRA platforms take the guesswork out of the process, providing HR with automated reporting and audit trails for effortless compliance.

Deploy an employee benefits call center

Organizations use a lot of resources to provide employee benefits to their workforce. But more often than not, employees don’t understand the value in the benefits provided. Not only are benefits complicated to understand for many, but traditional methods of employee benefits communication (like pamphlets) aren’t effective.

With a lack of effective resources, employees take their inquiries to HR. During an already hectic OE period, this is yet another significant burden on HR teams.

Deploying a benefits call center connects employees to licensed benefits professionals who are ready to support your employees with any inquiries. Call center professionals can help with understanding which plan best suits an employee’s unique health circumstances. Also, they’ll explain how to use health insurance coverage, clarify if something is covered by the plan, and address everything in between.

These benefits experts offer the support and personalized guidance so that employees can get the most out of their benefits packages.

Consolidated Carrier Billing & Reconciliation

Consolidated carrier billing and reconciliation streamlines the process of managing multiple insurance carriers and their associated payments. Instead of dealing with separate bills from each carrier, consolidated billing combines all charges into a single invoice, simplifying financial management for employers.

This unified approach not only reduces administrative overhead but also minimizes the risk of errors and discrepancies. Reconciliation becomes more efficient as all payments are tracked and matched against a single consolidated bill, ensuring accuracy and accountability. By adopting consolidated carrier billing and reconciliation, HR can achieve a more organized and transparent benefits administration process.

Transform benefits administration

In conclusion, HR professionals are burdened not by the sheer volume of tasks, but by outdated and inefficient processes. By embracing strategic outsourcing and leveraging modern technology solutions, HR teams can alleviate much of their administrative strain.

These strategic moves free HR teams to focus on more impactful, strategic initiatives, ultimately benefiting the entire organization. Learn more about how ebm can help today.

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