3 Must Haves for Game Changing Benefits Transparency

3 Must-Haves for Game-Changing Benefits Transparency

As an HR professional, you know that total compensation can account for the greater part of your company's budget. And you know that around a third of those total compensation dollars is spent on benefits

But do you know where all that money actually goes?

Consider online banking and budgeting

Online banking has revolutionized personal finance. Today, you can make a purchase with your debit card and immediately see the withdrawal from your bank account. You no longer have to wait for your monthly statement to arrive and then compare it against your checkbook ledger. You have an immediate, real-time view of the money coming into and out of your account.

Many consumers today also take advantage of online budgeting apps, which are able to securely link to your bank account and automatically enter transactions into your monthly budget based on the expense category. For example, if you used your debit card to buy movie tickets, you could go into your online budget and see the purchase amount posted under your "Entertainment" category - and you would see that you now have that much less money allotted to entertainment for the rest of the month.

As someone who uses online budgeting software, I can't tell you how much it's helped me and my wife be more financially responsible. Each month, we know exactly where our money is going, and we can proactively identify areas of the budget where we need to make adjustments before it's too late. The result is that there are virtually no surprises, and while we sometimes have to make difficult financial decisions, the software gives us the transparency we need to be fully informed whenever we do.

Wouldn't it be great if you could have that same level of empowerment and peace of mind with respect to decisions on employee benefits?

Well, thanks to advancements in enterprise benefits management technology, you can! And here's how:

1. Data integration and warehousing

The information you need to make informed benefit decisions already exists, but often it's just not accessible enough to be of good use. It's spread out among various disparate systems (insurance carriers, TPAs, payroll, eligibility, PBM/pharmacy, wellness, biometrics, disease management and billing, just to name a few), making it extremely difficult for you to grasp the whole picture.

With technology that continually consolidates data from all of these systems, giving you on-demand, real-time access to essentially all of your benefits information in one location, you can start to make that data work for you - instead of the other way around.

2. Data visualization

On-demand access to your data is great, but it won't be very helpful if you can't quickly and easily understand what you're looking at. You needn't pore over spreadsheets for hours to, for instance, identify the most problematic chronic conditions in your employee population.

Instead, you can gain insight with the click of a button. Technology that organizes all of your integrated data into a consumable format (think dashboards with colorful charts and graphs) makes assessing the current state of your benefits program a matter of seconds.

3. Reporting and analysis

Of course, to really understand what's going on with your benefits program, you'll need to go a bit deeper. If, for instance, your charts and graphs were to show that health plan claims to date are higher than expected, you'd want to know the reason.

That's why it's important to be able to drill down into your high-level metrics with on-demand reports that provide in-depth insight to pinpoint your problem areas. Technology that analyzes activity at the procedure code, diagnosis, prescription drug and provider levels can help you make truly informed decisions about plan design, cost control programs, benefit vendors and more.

Learn more about how you can maximize the value of your benefits investment with technology that empowers smart decisions. Click here to download your free copy of the latest Buyer's Guide to Effective Benefits Management Technology.