More Employers Are Outsourcing Benefit Administration

One in three employers outsources all of their benefit administration, up 20% since 2013, according to a study by the Guardian. Employers are also using more vendors for support. Nearly two-thirds that outsource some benefit administration use multiple vendors, up from 48% in 2013. Employers of all sizes are realizing the need to improve efficiency; keep compliant with requirements of the ACA, FMLA, and ADA; and improve the enrollment experience. They will need to rely more on external expertise to meet their goals, according to the study.

Only half of employers say their company is very effective in tracking and managing employee leave, including FMLA, disability, and other paid-time off. Nearly two-thirds of employers outsource some aspects of the enrollment process, such as preparing enrollment materials (49%) and presenting at enrollment meetings (48%). Only 31% outsource the development of their enrollment strategy. Having a decentralized approach lessens the effectiveness of enrollment activities. It’s best to outsource enrollment strategies to integrate services that support employee decision-making, according to the study. Ray Marra, senior vice president, Group Products at Guardian said that outside expertise can help companies transform their benefit package with a broader range of employee benefits and related services. For more information, visit https://www.guardiananytime.com/2015-workplace-benefits-study.

New Exchange Website Helps Agents Stay Compliant

CoveredCaliforniaThe California Health Benefit Exchange website,www.CoveredCA.com, is now live. California Health Underwriters (CAHU) is urging agents to visit the site and review all the marketing materials to avoid violating AB 1761 rules. AB 1761, which took effect January 1, prohibits any individual or website from attempting to hold their selves, plans or websites out as officially authorized as “Covered California” certified or approved.

CAHU says that word has come down that the Exchange plans a hard crackdown on violators of AB 1761 provisions. AB 1761 was supported by all three-agent organizations as well as other consumer health advocates.

The Covered California website has been designed for ease of use by all stakeholders, including licensed agents and employers. In fact, the new website contains individual and small employer content on the Small Employer Health Options Program (SHOP) section. A newsletter about SHOP Exchange happenings is expected to launch sometime in the first quarter of 2013. The site, which is available in English and Spanish, also offers a variety of fact sheets in 11 additional languages. It provides basic information about the Exchange and a calculator to give Californians an estimate of how much help they can get to reduce their premium costs.

Employers face challenges making wellness programs compliant

Employers offering wellness incentives as allowed by the Affordable Care Act must ensure the programs comply with federal laws and do not discriminate, says Danone Simpson of Montage Insurance Solutions. She says employers face “compliance landmines” in the new health law and need to ensure their plans are structured properly. Smart Business (9/2012)

Last Updated 12/01/2021

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