Streetsmart insurance Blog
As technology advances at lightning speed (remember it wasn't so long ago when we didn't have smartphones), employee benefits portals continue evolving as well.
However, new bells and whistles do not always make a benefits portal better and sometimes the kinks need to be worked out to accommodate new features. It's important when choosing a portal that you get the design and functionality that will ensure that your employees can easily enroll in a plan that is right for them.
If you are looking for the relatively newest features that can best help you improve your employee benefits portal, they are mobile optimization and access to data analytics.
Mobility and convenience
One important factor, especially for engaging with the younger members of your staff, is mobile optimization. In fact it is really the millennials in the workforce that are driving the changes.
Many companies that operate these portals have rapidly been expanding into the the mobile space so that participants can take care of all of their benefits needs and enrollment on a mobile device.
Also, while portals do include the fine print of each plan, they are increasingly offering short videos explaining certain benefits and providing online help.
When using the portal, employees can often exchange instant messages with a representative who can answer their benefits questions.
Data and information capture
Besides the constantly evolving features and the convenience of benefits portals, the other area that is expanding quickly is the ability of the portals to collect reams of data.
This allows employers to run all sorts of analytics, which in turn can help them fine-tune their benefit offerings to better suit their employees.
For example, most portals can now notify you instantly when enrollment events occur, such as an employee finalizing their choice of plan.
Also, with a portal you'll never have to worry about tracking down a signed application or wondering if employees have reviewed all of their compliance documents. The portal keeps track of all that.
Also, many portals include Affordable Care Act tools, which means you do not need to spend extra dollars on a separate system,. These tools also include eligibility tracking and data collection for 1094/1095 reporting.
Using analytics to break down big data and extract employee benefits information can help you identify disease trends and utilization patterns so you can build a more efficient and effective benefits package.
It can help you better understand how your employees are using your benefits package and which new options may be valuable to employees.
Often these platforms will allow the employer to access:
The portals will often provide access to end-to-end data and allow you to:
Communicating the portal to employees
Communication should be part of any portal project, to promote both the benefits on offer and the portal itself.
The key is to identify what works best for staff, including the use of focus groups to understand individual preferences.
Fortunately, raising awareness and usage of the portal is relatively simple in an office environment where employees have immediate e-mail and web access. You can send out e-mail and message blasts to all of the employees and put up a notice for an annual benefits meeting in the break room.
But in factories and in companies that have multiple locations, you may have to employ other tactics like desk drops, posters and holding large employee meetings by representatives that will travel to each location to make the presentation and answer questions.