Employers need help navigating the complexities of the current benefit landscape. They need strong benefits administration, flexible technology and service support. They also need strong decision support tools — both in the form of technology and people.

On this last point it’s clear: employers and their workers need decision support tools more than ever. For employers, this means a benefits administration platform that allows them to provide their employees with a broader choice of plan options, while simplifying their own administrative responsibilities and controlling their benefit costs. For employees, it means help understanding their financial protection needs and selecting the best options to meet them.

For example, employers need tools that help them simply input employer-specific data to generate a customized analysis of health care reform’s impact, including determining if the business is a large employer subject to the employer-shared responsibility rules and the potential play or pay penalties. These tools can help them assess the impact of adding or dropping employees, converting employees from full-time to part-time status, or increasing or decreasing employees’ share of premiums.

In addition, employers continue to face challenges around helping their employees understand their benefit needs and making informed financial protection choices.

In today's market many companies have already invested in various benefits self-service solutions to create a paperless benefits enrollment transaction. Unfortunately, these solutions haven’t solved the problem of helping employees understand their benefit options, select the right plans for their needs and get the most out of their benefit programs year-round.

Guiding employees to the appropriate plans based on their individual needs increases employee satisfaction with their benefits, and helps contain health care costs for both employers and employees. 

At the end of the day, almost every employer needs expert help so that they can:

  • Help their employees find and make the appropriate election on the right benefit plans for their families, situation and life stage. 
  • Contain health care costs for both their company and their workforce.
  • Provide a year-round, easy-to-use, personalized and searchable benefits portal to help their employees get the maximum value from their health plans.
  • Create a paperless benefits environment by adding paperless, on-demand benefits communications for their work force.

The good news is this help is readily available at little or no cost by partnering with the right benefits provider.
Tchistiakova is a district general agent with Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company and The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company. Hear her speak on trends in employee benefit technologies at the Workplace Benefits Renaissance in Atlantic City at 12 p.m. on Feb. 25.

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