Building an Innovative Employee Benefits Program
  • Benefits Strategy

How Employers Can Build Innovative Benefit Programs Without Creating Administrative Nightmares

As employers face increasing pressure to attract and retain talent in the midst of historically low jobless rates and relatively stagnant wage growth, they're looking to their benefit strategy to be a difference maker. But the innovation required to stand out comes with significant challenges—particularly with respect to benefits data exchange.

Employer benefit teams using technology to enable and scale their strategy struggle with a lack of data exchange standards in an industry with a poor record on data quality. Current industry benchmarks for "first-pass yield" (basically, the percentage of data moving through a system that comes out accurately) are around 95 percent—meaning that when data moves, 5 percent of it is incorrect. This not only requires additional time from the benefits team to research and fix the issues, it can also impact employees' ability to use their benefits when they need to.

Expanding a benefits program with new solutions only multiplies the already existing challenges of connecting enrollment, administration, carrier membership, payroll, HCM and HRIS systems with each other. And then of course there's the issue of security, making sure that employees' personal information is properly protected at all times.

So what's a benefits team to do?

Focus on Benefits Data Accuracy, Security and Timeliness 

The ideal solution to the data quality issues facing benefit teams is a highly scalable, adaptable and secure benefits data exchange solution that enables employers to expand their benefit programs in an efficient, low-cost manner—seamlessly connecting them to new product suppliers while ensuring accurate, on-time and secure delivery of data across the entire benefits ecosystem.   

As highlighted at Benefitfocus' One Place 2019 conference, Benefitfocus' end-to-end data exchange solution delivers unprecedented data quality and efficiency to help ensure:

Benefits Data Is Right

Data accuracy is critical to the success of a benefits program. Employees expect their paychecks to be correct with accurate deductions, to be able to get care when they need it and for their insurance cards to arrive on time. They're counting on their company and its benefits team (and, by extension, its benefits technology) to get all of these transactions right. 

Benefitfocus' rules framework and configuration optimization tools help ensure that business rules are properly supported to calculate the right deductions, dates and enrollments. Fully automated processes for data transmission, validation and delivery remove human error from the equation so that data is accurate and on time. 

We asked our top 21 carrier and benefit supplier partners (by volume) about our first-pass yield rate and the norm for the industry. They told us that Benefitfocus is consistently at 99.6 percent or higher, far exceeding the average rate they reported for other organizations sending their data (95 percent).

Benefits Data Is Protected

Benefit professionals are entrusted with people's most sensitive data. It's essential that it be secured at all times.

Benefitfocus employs multiple levels of encryption for data at rest and during delivery, with fully automated processes that mitigate human interaction with the data so it's transported in the most secure manner possible. Our top 21 carriers and benefit suppliers report that, while many of their other partners employ data encryption at rest, less than 30 percent also use the advanced encryption techniques employed by Benefitfocus. 

A Better Experience for  Benefit Professionals

Accurate data means that benefit teams, as well as brokers, carriers and suppliers, can spend time focusing on more strategic efforts and on their core purpose—planning and creating new benefit programs, engaging employees in meaningful ways, and ultimately driving value for their business, instead of researching and resolving data inaccuracies.

Engage and Retain Employees with Benefits Innovation

When it comes to their benefits, employees first and foremost expect a hassle-free and consistent experience, whether they're visiting the doctor or going to the pharmacy. But more and more, employees are also looking for diversity and personalization in their benefits. Achieving this without adding friction to the experience is no small task.

Through a highly flexible rules framework, a library of standardized interfaces with leading benefit product suppliers and insights powered by artificial intelligence, Benefitfocus enables organizations to rapidly innovate on their benefit strategy without the (often prohibitive) effort and cost to stand up data exchange for new systems and suppliers.

Benefitfocus' data exchange solution is built to ensure that the right data gets to the right place at the right time—providing peace of mind to benefit leaders so they can focus on serving their employees and executing on the mission of their organization. In future blog posts, we'll explore some of the key features of Benefitfocus' data exchange solution in greater detail, including how these features drive value for organizations and employees in real-life scenarios.

In the meantime, Benefitfocus' 2019 One Place conference introduced some exciting new technology to the benefits community, and it's all made possible by world-class data exchange capabilities. Check out the One Place 2019 announcements page for the key highlights!