September 30, 2021
By: Zach Wallens
Seven ways benefit administration platforms can provide year-round value
Most benefits administration (BenAdmin) platforms only have genuine access to employees during open enrollment. This small window of engagement is frustrating to BenAdmin leaders, but it need not be. That’s because they already have the building blocks necessary for creating year-round member interactions: existing relationships with employers and information about their employees.
By smartly leveraging those relationships and that data, BenAdmin platforms can become a 24/7/365 gateway to the myriad of providers of health, retirement, and other programs an employer offers. Not only will that enhance the value BenAdmins deliver to employers, it will further differentiate them from their competition as well.
Here is just a sampling of the enhanced services that can turn BenAdmin platforms into year-round destinations:
Centralized Portals for single point of access to HSA, FSA, HRA, 401k and other accounts. With these, employees can log onto a BenAdmin site or app and access to all of their health plans, retirement, and flexible spending information.
Accumulators. A single up-to-date view of the important running totals from all member’s benefit plans, such as deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, and flexible spending account (FSA) balances.
Provider Search. One interface to find any sort of provider. Since the BenAdmin knows the plans in which each employee is enrolled, it can limit the display of providers to those that are in-network.
Cost Estimator. A tool that enables a member to enter a procedure or drug and see their out-of-pocket cost under their plan. This tool could also let members compare their effective costs at different hospitals, using the price transparency disclosures that the federal government has mandated.
Benefits Marketplace. A year-round array of voluntary benefits, programs and offers available through the employer such as gym memberships, pet insurance, identity protection, and student loan assistance. The most relevant offers can be surfaced when members get married, have children or experience other qualifying life events.
Healthcare Concierge. Many BenAdmin providers offer sophisticated decision support to help members select plans. This assistance can be extended year-round in regards to selecting providers, lowering costs, and even booking appointments. Concierge services can be offered via human support, automated bots, or in combination.
Wellness Programs. There are myriad ways to offer members the information, support, and encouragement to make healthier choices about eating, exercising, stopping smoking, managing chronic conditions, and dealing with mental health. These can deploy tools including self-assessments, coaching, gamification, rewards, and integration with mobile devices.
Concierge and wellness programs can involve significant investments in content and support staff. BenAdmin providers, accordingly, may look to partners for these services rather than building them in-house. But all the other services on this list are essentially extensions of the capabilities that BenAdmins already have—connecting data from benefit providers, employers, and employees. Still, by using this information to offer convenience, utility, and insights, BenAdmin providers can engage members and prove value to employers 12 months of the year.