Key points about using benefits management software:
- Benefits management software helps you save time and reduce error by automating key processes.
- Your employees also have the power to edit their own information and enroll in their own plans.
- This makes it easier for you to evaluate, administer, and manage your employee benefits.
Manually managing employee benefits means constantly juggling spreadsheets and paper documents. It also means updating employee information, calculating premiums and deductions, and managing open enrollment, all while trying to maintain accuracy and compliance.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that managing employee benefits involves a lot of moving parts. And you probably feel overwhelmed.
You may not have the time or team members necessary to handle everything you need to do. Or you may not have the resources or desire to hire a third-party administrator. Whatever the reason, automated benefits management software can help.
You may have heard of benefits management software before, but what is it really? And most importantly, how can it profit you and your business? In this blog post, we explain how a benefits administration solution can help and why it may be worth the investment.
What is benefits management or benefits administration software?
Benefits management software is a software system that makes it easier for HR departments to manage employee benefit plans and the open enrollment process. By automating administrative tasks and giving employees the power to manage their own plans, benefits software streamlines common processes to save time, ensure compliance, and reduce error.
What does employee benefits management software do?
Managing benefits packages can be a complex, time-consuming process. You need to:
- Design your benefits plan
- Work with benefits providers and/or benefits brokers
- Communicate your plans to employees
- Educate your employees and answer any questions
You also need to keep track of:
- Multiple benefit plans
- Open enrollment
- Employee life events
- Premium calculations
- Payroll deductions
- And much more
Benefits management software automates these processes and consolidates this information. This makes it easier to evaluate, administer, and track your employee benefit plans. With benefits administration software, you can manage everything you manage now without the hassle of spreadsheets and paper documents.
What types of employee benefits can you manage with this software?
Benefits management software lets you manage all of your benefit plans in one place. This includes common benefits such as:
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- Life insurance
- Short and long-term disability insurance
- Accident insurance
- Pet insurance
- Retirement plans
- Wellness benefits
Why you should use benefits management software
Why should your HR department use benefits management software? Through automation, benefits management software simplifies and streamlines your processes. But it can do a lot more than just save you and your employees time. From improving employee satisfaction to reducing errors, here are the main perks benefits management software can bring to your business:
1. Increase employee satisfaction
It can take hours to add and update an employee’s benefits information while also managing open enrollment, new hire selections, and employee life events.
Most benefits administration software providers offer employee self-service to help you save time. This means that employees can manage their own benefit plans so you don’t need to manually make changes for them. With employee self-service, employees can:
- Add or edit personal information (like an address change)
- Compare plan costs
- Enroll in their own benefits plans
- See how their chosen plan will affect their paycheck
- Access and manage their plans from any location with a mobile app
Your employees will appreciate the increased visibility and control that self-service provides. They won’t have to contact someone in HR to make a simple benefits change on their behalf. They’ll also have peace of mind knowing that their plans are set up the way they want them. It may seem small, but a change like this can greatly improve their employee satisfaction.
2. Reduce errors
It’s not uncommon for managers or employees to accidentally input a wrong number or make a spelling mistake, especially when entering the same data in more than one place. These errors can take time to fix and result in hefty fees and penalties.
Benefits management software helps reduce the errors that can accompany manual benefits management. With built-in tools and audits, software can flag errors and notify you of any discrepancies, like payroll deductions that don’t match employee contributions.
Some programs also help you reduce the risk of employees enrolling in the wrong benefits plan. With this type of software, employees only see the plans they’re eligible for. This can save everyone time.
3. Connect with carriers
Many providers also offer carrier connections. These connections let you seamlessly (and securely) share data with your insurance carriers. Any time an employee’s benefits data changes, the updated information will be automatically transferred to your carriers. You won’t need to enter data in multiple places, so you can save time and improve accuracy.
4. Make it easier to stay compliant
Constantly changing legislation and reporting requirements can make it difficult to stay compliant. Depending on your organization, you may need to comply with requirements related to the:
- Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
Benefits administration software helps you stay compliant with these regulations and others. Software providers regularly update their platforms with the latest changes. This includes updated benefits eligibility, rates, and required documentation. As a result, you won’t need to worry about accidentally using an outdated form or complying with an old law. If for some reason the software isn’t updated, many vendors will cover any fees incurred on your behalf.
5. Boost security
Administering employee benefits requires you to gather and store sensitive information like:
- Home addresses
- Social Security Numbers
- Health and medical data
If you keep this information in a filing cabinet, you run the risk of a security breach. Even if you store this information in an online spreadsheet like Excel, it could accidentally be deleted. Benefits management software makes record-keeping more secure. You don’t need to worry about someone accessing a physical storage space like a filing cabinet, and because software backs up information in the cloud, there’s no need to worry about data loss, either.
6. Improve reporting & analytics
Benefits are critical to things like retention and employee satisfaction. But they can be expensive. On average, employee benefits cost employers about 29% of their total compensation costs.
Benefits management software helps you control costs and make other strategic decisions. Because all of your benefits data is in one place, you can quickly create reports that help you identify benefit trends, stay compliant, and more. With real-time reporting and analytics, you can track things like:
- Benefit plan costs
- Benefit enrollments by plan and/or person
- Benefit plan type
Stand-alone benefits administration software vs. all-in-one software
Most benefits administration software falls into two general categories: stand-alone and all-in-one. You’ll get the most out of a solution if you choose the type that’s best suited for your business.
Stand-alone benefits administration software provides benefits management capability and nothing else. This type of software may be right for your business if you:
- Only need benefits management capability
- Already have software for payroll and other HR needs
- Need very specific benefits features
An HRIS with benefits management software is a complete HR solution. This type of software gives you the ability to manage employee benefits, payroll, performance, time, and more in a single solution. An all-in-one HRIS may be right for your business if you:
- Need software for benefits plus payroll, time tracking, and other HR processes
- Have software for other HR processes but are dissatisfied with them
- Are tired of using multiple systems with different login credentials
- Want to save even more time
One of the biggest advantages of an HRIS is that it stores your employee benefits and payroll data in the same place. Any time an employee updates their benefits information, the software will automatically calculate their payroll deductions to match. This boosts accuracy and efficiency to an even higher level.
Managing employee benefits with SentricHR
SentricHR’s all-in-one HR software makes it easy to evaluate, deliver, and manage employee benefits. Our licensed brokers can even help you design competitive plans tailored specifically to your business. To learn more about our HRIS with benefits management software, speak with one of our product experts today!