Changes under the new Trump presidency are having a profound effect on the employee benefits space. Employers must adapt to evolving healthcare policies as we enter an era where the GOP is focused on repeal, replace, or repair of the Affordable Care Act. While the final outcome of a post-ACA world will look like remains to be seen, the focus on creating a positive employee benefit experience will remain a top priority as the world of benefits continues to become more complex.
Here are four key predictions in the benefits space going forward:
Prediction 1: Get personal. Expect to see a significant growth in the adoption of personalized enrollment technologies, which help employees feel more confident in their benefit decisions and increase employee adoption and perception of benefits throughout the plan year. While these tools exist today, they’re gaining traction among larger employers who are no longer satisfied with the transactional applications of their HRIS platforms, and who believe they’re missing an opportunity to execute their healthcare strategies more effectively.
Prediction 2: Make enrollment feel like Amazon. As the market continues to move towards employee consumerism, participants expect the benefits enrollment experience to more closely mirror the online shopping experience they interact with on a regular basis. Look for benefit administration technologies to innovate in ways that makes it more intuitive and efficient for employees.
Prediction 3: Reduce log-in log jams. Employees struggle to manage the various logins and locations where they find information relating to their employer-provided benefits. For example, it’s not uncommon for employees to have as many as 10 portals to access for information and actions related to enrollment, election and balance information, payroll, PTO, 401k balances, teledoc, wellness program statuses and incentives, heath plan deductible statuses, and more. Because of the frustration these siloed portals can cause, many employer-sponsored benefit programs are underutilized and unappreciated. There is a major opportunity for employers to make this experience less frustrating for employees by integrating their various portals, simplifying logins and maintaining real-time information in one central location. You can bet that we’ll see mobile-enabled, benefit dashboards on the market in 2017.
Prediction 4: Go mobile. Speaking of mobile, when mobile benefit solutions take hold, employers will have a new platform from which they can communicate. This means utilization reminders, care gap alerts and other health-related notifications can also be sent directly to an employee’s smartphone rather via e-mail where the message is often lost.
Many vendors are wrestling to adapt to dramatic changes in our healthcare and the impact it will have on their strategies and, ultimately, their clients. It is imperative we understand the challenges employers are facing and create solutions to help them best serve the unique benefit needs of their employee base. After all, happy employees are a company’s most valuable asset.
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