On paper, administering benefits sounds more like a line-item in the broader role of your company’s HR department, but in reality it actually takes up a lot of time for whoever is in charge of it.
As with many jobs under the HR umbrella, benefits administration includes day-to-day tasks, as well as annual “events.” Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization can radically change the game those yearly events in addition to the daily tasks.
Many HR pros dislike the annual events, such as reviewing and selecting insurance plans, because they know it is stressful and takes them away from the daily tasks they need to focus on while creating angst among employees who are wondering what they will be getting this year and how much it will cost them.
Annual Employee Benefits ‘Shopping’
We went ahead and put the shopping in quotation marks because perusing plans and comparing them to one another – all with an eye towards getting your employees the best bang for their benefits buck – is possibly the least fun activity ever. It’s a tedious, boring process and even when you’ve made your selection, you’re never quite sure you’ve made the right decision.
With a PEO, we do all the legwork and present you with a shortened list of the best of the best and will go as far as meeting individual employee needs. We wouldn’t recommend it to you as an option if we didn’t think that it would meet – or exceed – your employee’s expectations.
Annual Rate Negotiation
Uh-oh, we lied. The only thing more infuriating than shopping for the “best” benefit plan is actually negotiating what you’re willing to pay for said benefits. Benefits companies are notoriously difficult to negotiate with and will often offer small businesses only their “best rate,” even when you know they can do better.
With a PEO, not only do you let us spend all the time doing the bargaining, but you also benefit from our collective purchasing power. When we have a larger number of people to cover – by pooling your business with that of our other clients – we can actually set the prices we are willing to pay and pass those savings along to you. In short, we’ll get you better benefits at an even better price.
Employee Benefits Communication and Education
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices for which benefits to administer, now comes the time to communicate these options to your employees. While in a perfect world, you’d be able to simply give them a printout and have them tell you what works best for them. The real world of benefits is confusing and way more hand-holding is needed to ensure your employees are picking a plan that meets their unique needs.
Often times benefits communication/education is a drawn-out process that includes multiple meetings, small group breakout sessions, one-on-one meetings and even a few late-night panic emails/phone calls.
With a PEO, we take the lead on your employee benefits communication, hosting all of the aforementioned educational opportunities, creating a system for employees to ask questions (and, more importantly, receive the correct answer), and generally managing the whole process so all you have to do is point them in our direction!
Open Enrollment Administration
Now, when we talk about actual enrollment administration, we’re also talking about knowing how to file for those who accept the plans and for those who choose to forgo coverage. Whether your employees accept or decline coverage, you’ll have a mountain of paperwork to fill out and file, which these days include not only your company but also the benefits administrator and potentially state and federal governments.
With a PEO, we assist your employees in filling out the necessary paperwork and file it with the necessary parties to ensure that they – and your company – are fully in compliance. The best part? We’ll be sure to loop you in as we make progress towards fulfilling these obligations and alert you should any problems arise.
Employee Eligibility, Change Tracking and Processing
No matter how good the benefits offerings are, invariably, employees will need to make changes outside of open enrollment season. For you – or rather, your poor beleaguered HR pro – this typically means hours on the phone discussing the employee in question, including why they need to make the change, why they are eligible and what they want instead. What then follows is a mountain of paperwork and checks and balances to get the deal done. With a PEO, you tell us why you want to make a change and we handle the rest. We’ll notify you if we need more information – or if something isn’t clicking – but otherwise, the only time we’ll touch base is when the deal is done and your employee is free to enjoy their new benefits
Benefit Plan Premium Payments.
Seems like a silly line-item, but these benefits plans do insist on getting paid – and they’re mighty mean if you fail to get it done on time!
With a PEO, the benefit plan premium payments are wrapped up in what you pay to us, so you never have to worry about cutting another check. We take care of it, and we’ll touch base to confirm that payments have been made.
Learn more about how to eliminate your human resource headaches with one decision.