3 Conversations Going on Now in the Benefits Community

With the growing complexity of benefits administration, there’s plenty to talk about. We had a conversation with several customers at a local One Place event, and here’s what’s top of mind for them going into open enrollment:

ACA Reporting

The 2016 tax season introduces a new set of complex scenarios for ACA compliance with 1094/1095 reporting. Large employers will be responsible for delivering form 1095-C to each employee and form 1094-C to the IRS. This enables the IRS to track whether employers are offering health insurance to eligible employees as required by the Affordable Care Act.

Collecting the required information will be the challenge, and benefit administratorsmay not feel prepared to go at it alone. To avoid a potential $1.5 million penalty, employers need a solution that can aggregate the data for them to create and deliver the forms with ease and accuracy.

Open Enrollment Readiness

Perhaps the most tasking time for benefit administrators is the annual open enrollment (OE) period, which for most companies, is right around the corner. It’s normally a three-week period that administrators spend their whole year planning. Starting with the plan design phase, administrators have to look at the previous year along with current workforce demographics, regulatory requirements and economic factors. Having the ability to look at the big picture is important when it comes to designing a benefits package that meets the needs of their workforce while controlling healthcare costs.

Administrators also have to spend time prepping their employees so they know what to expect and when to expect it – and so the benefits team can avoid being overwhelmed with questions during OE. According to the Unum Benefits Buyers Study for 2015, a minimum of three communications and three weeks to review are required for employees to make good decisions when they enroll in their benefits. The degree to which employees can actually understand what’s being offered will impact their ability to make the most cost-effective decision for themselves and the company.

Ongoing Employee Communication & Engagement

Communicating updates about employee benefits shouldn’t just happen at OE. Keeping benefits top of mind helps remind employees about their company’s investment in their well-being while educating them about how they can take full advantage of the plans they’re enrolled in for a happy, healthy and productive workforce. Achieving a high level of employee engagement is also a necessity to remain competitive in an improving job market.

With five generations in the workforce today, more and more benefit teams are taking tactics from their marketing departments to manage employee outreach. New technologies not only leverage existing employee data, but also capture behavioral data so administrators can tailor and deliver messaging in a way that is easily consumable for employees.

Learn how benefit administrators are tackling these issues and more at our annual One Place conference in Orlando March 8-10. Registration is now open!