Voluntary benefits popularity continues to grow but administration of premium billing and accounting is also a growing aggravation and/or problem. With multiple voluntary products and carriers there is a required reconciliation of payroll deducted premiums for each benefit and carrier on a monthly basis.
The concerns are many and manual intervention by the broker usually is required once the employer has “had enough” with carrier billing problems.In some cases, employers may resist adding new voluntary benefits to their platform, so as to avoid broadening this administrative burden. Many benefit brokers new or entering the voluntary benefit arena are not aware of various firms that offer third party premium billing and accounting administration services.  
What happens? Depending on the needs of an employer’s payroll system, benefits can either be moved into a consolidated (single) deduction slot or maintained as individual deductions. Deductions are then remitted to a premium billing and accounting administrator. The administrator receives the money from deductions, and reconciles the bill (to the employee policy level). Administrator remits premiums deducted to each carrier.
The larger the employer the more important this service becomes. In most cases if properly negotiated, the cost of this service will be paid by the insurance carriers.  The net result is simplified, streamlined premium billing and deduction management that no longer requires an employer to have an individual assigned to perform the reconciliation function each month for voluntary benefits.
There are several national firms that specialize and excel in providing the administrative support needed to run voluntary benefits programs smoothly, efficiently, and effortlessly. Some are dedicated to voluntary benefit administration. Typical administration process includes Product Set-up, Case Management and Administration.
If you have an important account and are having billing issues or are getting ready to add new voluntary products to existing clients, this service just might make you a hero.

 Kelly is chief executive of Nashville, Tenn.-based Voluntary Employee Benefit Advisors. He can be reached at Tkelly@VEBA1.com.

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