With open enrollment season fast approaching, I thought it would be good to address the limitations and possibilities of ben admin enrollment technology related to voluntary benefits. Typically, today's benefit admin technologies include a self-service core benefit enrollment system. Most have proven to be unsuccessful for the effective deployment of voluntary benefits. In the large case market, most employers have by now adopted a ben admin system with an online enrollment tool. Generally, these tools are not designed or intended for voluntary benefits. Also, the overall user experience of these systems is inconsistent at best.

Core benefit enrollment systems are designed to be transactional in nature. Surprisingly, these systems can act as barriers to reaching satisfactory voluntary benefit participation levels. Voluntary benefit offerings require employee education and engagement, which these systems weren't designed to facilitate. It’s not unusual to have only 3%-5% employee participation levels within online self-service enrollment systems. Understandably, these levels of participation do not work well for anyone — carriers, brokers, employer or employees. The good news is a technological insight has recently come to light which helps to eliminate these same barriers for both brokers and their clients.

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