How to choose a benefits administrator for your company

How to choose a benefits administrator for your company

For organizations providing employee benefits, utilizing a precise benefits administration tool is key to staying compliant. Benefits administrators streamline the enrollment process for employees, offering necessary training and resources to ensure smooth benefits operation within your organization. Let’s jump in!

A benefits administrator, whether a human resources professional, third-party administrator, or employee benefits administration software, plays a vital role in keeping employees and business owners informed about their benefit programs. 

Selecting the right benefits plan administrator is crucial for a positive employee experience and to prevent employees from underutilizing their benefits, which can impact engagement and retention. This article will dive right in to key considerations when choosing a benefits administrator or software solution.

Here are a few key takeaways from this blog post:

Selecting the right benefits administrator or software solution is essential for enhancing the employee experience and maintaining compliance with federal regulations.
Benefits administration systems offer convenient access to employee perks and can result in significant time and cost savings compared to manual administration.
When considering a benefits software program, it is imperative to opt for a platform that features automated compliance, analytics, reliability, and user-friendly interface.

What are responsibilities of benefits administrators?

Benefits administrators play a crucial role in your organization, overseeing various responsibilities that enhance the employee experience. These responsibilities may include:

Educating employees on the perks available
Assisting them in enrolling in benefits
Regularly reviewing and updating benefits information and compliance documents

Having strong analytical skills and staying updated on compliance requirements and changes are essential qualities for a benefits administrator. If your administrator is overwhelmed with tasks or if you haven’t hired one yet, utilizing software can provide valuable support.

Do you need benefits administration software?

The benefits administration field has been steadily transitioning into the realm of software solutions over the years. By utilizing administration software, both you and your employees gain enhanced access to perks from any location, ultimately enhancing the overall employee experience.

Opting for an automated system to manage your company’s benefits packages can result in significant time and cost savings compared to manual administration or hiring a benefits administrator. Software-based benefits administration streamlines processes by providing quick access to employee data and records, enabling employees to easily view information about their perks. Moreover, a dependable benefits administrator can assist you in ensuring compliance with current regulations.

See also  Negotiating and allowed amount

Technology-enabled solutions

When deciding on an administrator for competitive benefits, a software solution is likely to be at the forefront of your considerations for its ease of use and accessibility. With the abundance of HR tech platforms available, the features and user-friendliness of the software have become key factors to evaluate.

This section will delve into the essential areas to contemplate before choosing a benefits software program.

Seamless compliance

Federal laws and IRS regulations may place stringent requirements on employers based on the specific employee perks being offered. This is particularly relevant for retirement plans and health benefits such as health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

An HRA, approved by the IRS, is a health benefit sponsored by employers that enables participants to receive reimbursements for a wide range of out-of-pocket healthcare expenses and specific health insurance premiums. Depending on the design and type of HRA offered, employees can be reimbursed for expenses outlined in IRS Publication 502 and the CARES Act.

For example, an HRA administration software should have features like:

Automatically generating a comprehensive legal plan and summary plan description (SPD)
Providing a secure method for collecting and storing employees’ electronic signatures
Implementing privacy features to safeguard protected health information (PHI)
Ensuring compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
Documentation for appeal requirements, notifications, and procedural guidelines
Extending coverage for dependent children up to the age of 26
Automatically notifying employees of their eligibility and annual allowances

And fair warning: failure to incorporate the necessary features for ensuring compliance with federal laws could result in your company violating tax regulations and facing substantial penalties. Luckily, utilizing the appropriate automated software eliminates the uncertainty involved in administering standard employee benefits.

Accuracy and updates

When selecting a benefits platform, it is essential to evaluate the software’s reliability. While this information may not be readily accessible, insights from other organizations can assist in gauging the platform’s ability to manage increased transaction volumes during peak periods, such as open enrollment or benefit renewals. Looking at third party review sites is an excellent way to do this, or asking for references. 

See also  BCBS Owner Anthem Health Pushes for Name Change to Elevance Health - Managed Healthcare Executive

Easy and intuitive 

As a busy employer or HR professional, your task list is always overflowing with responsibilities. The last thing you need is to grapple with complicated software solutions.

When selecting a software provider, it’s crucial to prioritize the user-friendliness of the platform. You can typically assess this through reviews and software demonstrations. Your team members will appreciate software that is easy to use, intuitive, and free from confusing technical jargon or undefined terminology. Compliance and health insurance can be confusing enough, so the user experience is critical. 

Other tools and features to help make your job easier

If you’re in search of a benefits administrator or administration software, it’s essential that your tool comes equipped with resources and features to assist employees in utilizing and overseeing their perks effectively.

Here are a few employee features and resources to look for:

Sending out a welcome letter and engaging communications is key to keeping your team well-informed and involved.
Employees who are eligible can effortlessly access and take charge of their perks and allowances through a user-friendly online platform.
With cloud-based document storage, you can securely store and retrieve crucial benefit information whenever necessary.
Information videos to explain how features work.

Depending on the array of employee benefits you provide, there could be additional features and resources to enhance the overall employee experience.

When it comes to HRA administration, software features can be incredibly helpful.

Here are a few examples:

Resources that guide employees in choosing the right individual health insurance policy (Spoiler alert: Take Command offers this in-house with our team of experts!)
Compatibility with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
User-friendly tools for reimbursement requests and document uploads
Tracking capabilities for monitoring reimbursements over time
Cloud-based access for seamless communication between employers and employees
Real-time accounting information for better financial management
Automated notifications for claim processing and reimbursement decisions
Custom reporting
Online renewal for hassle-free benefits administration
Text reminders for enrollment 
Admin resource center with everything you might need

See also  Partner lost health insurance due to parent's layoff, but marketplace insurance won't start until March 1. How to bridge the gap?

Ensuring that your employees can easily access and utilize their personalized health benefits is the primary goal of offering an HRA. By utilizing effective HRA administration software, your employees will have the guidance needed to select the right policy and navigate the reimbursement process seamlessly.

Selecting an HRA service provider with expertise and organizational skills is crucial in successfully implementing this benefit. At Take Command, our team ensures that employee reimbursement requests are compliant and processed efficiently. Our in-house compliance team knows the ins and outs of this process and we make it easy for your employees.

While managing an HRA may be less complex than traditional group health insurance, it still requires a learning curve. A reliable administrative tool will provide your plan administrator with the necessary training and ongoing support to ensure smooth compliance and functionality of your HRA benefit.

Software training and ongoing support

When considering a dependable benefits administrator, inquire about the level of training and support available for both you and your employees regarding the software platform. Look for administrators who offer software demos, instructional videos, and other resources to aid your HR professionals and employees in navigating the system effectively.

Lastly, ensure that the plan includes ongoing support in case you face any challenges while using the software. Opting for a benefits administrator that prioritizes training and support throughout the process will encourage employees to fully utilize their perks, leading to better retention rates and enhanced worker satisfaction within your organization.

Final thoughts

Finding the perfect benefits administrator or software solution for your organization can be a game-changer, saving you time and reducing stress while streamlining the process for your employees. With the right tool in hand, managing your perks becomes effortless.

For a seamless and compliant approach to handling your current benefits, look no further than Take Command. Our tailored benefits administration platforms simplify the setup and management of HRAs and employee stipends, making it a quick and hassle-free task every month.