Making the Most of the Latest Benefits Administration Technology

August 22, 2019 Kellee Lemcke

Human resource director using technology

Overview

The business of benefits changes almost every day, and understaffed HR departments are constantly searching for new ways to leverage technology to ease their administrative burden. New advances in HR technology and artificial intelligence can reduce the pain associated with benefits administration and compliance, as well as making it much easier to implement specific benefit strategies for your employees. Digital benefits administration can enhance your employee’s experience through a centralized access portal that empowers them to make benefit selections that best fit their unique health needs. Digital access through mobile devices increases employee engagement and understanding of how to become a more informed consumer.

 

From app-based care and mobile options, to new developments surrounding telehealth, digital solutions are giving companies of all sizes more choices and better return on their health benefit spend.

 

Where Should HR Leaders Focus Their HR Technology Investment in the Next 12 to 24 Months?

Focusing on digital benefits administration automation at your organization is a potential key to success and can also provide peace of mind. Digital benefits administration can eliminate paper documentation and make enrollment materials searchable and easy to access. This significantly reduces the likelihood of errors or lost documentation and supports federal compliance requirements on benefit retention policies. 

 

Looking beyond benefits administration, digital technology also allows you to stay on top of legislative changes related to benefits and healthcare. For example, many states have updates to their family and medical leave laws on the horizon and leave management administration tools can help manage those changes. This makes compliance less difficult and frees up your time for more substantial work.

 

Automating benefits administration gives you more control, making that portion of HR easier to handle.  Providing digital benefits administration encourages employees to understand their benefits before using the programs and allows for a greater return on investment.

 

What Emerging Technologies Are Likely to Have the Greatest Impact on HR Effectiveness and Business Performance?

App-based wellness solutions can drive down costs and significantly streamline the administration process, for both you and your employees. Employees can have access to digital insurance cards, claims utilization and cost transparency tools right on their phones. Tapping into Fitbit or other wearable device technologies can also help administrators implement medical compliance and wellbeing solutions.

 

Telehealth is also a complimentary tool that makes healthcare more accessible for your employees. Telehealth allows employees to “meet” with their doctor from the office so they miss less work, which can ultimately help reduce their premiums. Telehealth also allows employees to pick-up routine prescriptions without a visit to the doctor’s office and thus eliminating a trip their doctor’s waiting room area. The on-demand nature of telehealth makes it extremely cost-effective.

 

How Can HR Departments Ensure Smooth and Successful Implementation and Execution of New Technologies?

Employers should always allow as much time as possible to implement new HR technologies. An extended implementation period allows you to pinpoint and address any small problems before they become larger ones. Additional implementation time should be allotted to evaluate work arounds solutions that you may want to adopt, and allows you to consider process changes within your organization that may deliver efficiency gains, potentially via automation. 

 

Having a plan is key to effective implementation, and that plan should include change management. Conduct a trial run to assess potential pain points for your whole team, and be sure to maintain effective communication, which should be part of any good implementation plan. Also, be sure to give yourself enough time to plan your communication and rollout strategies. And remember that engagement is key — try leveraging mobile communication or push notifications to increase engagement from your employees.

 

The healthcare industry has capitalized on our society’s need for on-demand access to information and has brought a variety of new solutions to employees. In partnership with healthcare consultants, HR managers need to evaluate how to best utilize the variety of on-demand and mobile options to meet the unique needs of their population. If implemented correctly, businesses will not only realize greater efficiency and reduced administrative burdens, but more engaged employees.

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