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.

What's emerged is a process by which a new enrollment technology can be embedded or plugged into an existing core enrollment system. This simple but powerful technology can be uploaded and integrated rapidly, in one to two hours, through the integration of a single Web page. This technology tool was designed to fully integrate a customized voluntary benefit enrollment process, including new communications technology. It works with most large ben admin systems. Better yet, ease of use for employees is seamless.

Several voluntary benefit enrollment firms have successfully embraced this approach and are working with insurance carriers to deliver to brokers. If you're experiencing limited success with online self-service enrollments through ben admin enrollment platforms, I suggest you speak to your voluntary benefit carrier rep so they can show you the solution that's producing effective results.

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