Planning Leads to Successful Insurance Benefit Programs
08/01/17 | 9:00AM | Posted by Arianna Purcell, ERP Implementation Team Lead
Think of the planning that goes into a big business project or new contract. You incorporate milestones and touchpoints throughout and don’t wait until the day before a deadline to plan resources and strategy. That same time and consideration should be applied to your insurance benefit program and the process for open enrollment for your employees — even if you’re not planning to make any changes.
If you’re like me, you can’t believe we’re more than halfway through the year already. And, for those of you who manage employee benefits, this might come as a shock: The Form 1095-C deadline is six months away. Where did the year go? Even if your benefits don’t renew in January, it’s important to be thinking about employee benefits now.
The day-to-day operation of running your business keeps you busy enough, so it’s easy to understand how your insurance benefits program becomes an end-of-year project tied to open enrollment. In reality though, it should be a regular touchpoint each month throughout the year.
Here’s an example of what can happen when you don’t stay on top of insurance benefits: A company offered benefits to their employees and had the program organized and set up. As the year went on, the benefits team didn’t stay up-to-date on all the changes — eligible employees or rehired employees were not offered benefits, or employee deductions were not adjusted in a timely manner, which cost the company money. So, when the deadline arrived to file their 1095-C forms the following year, they had a big problem: They weren’t in compliance and were facing a possible penalty.
You don’t want to be in a situation like the example company. So, how can you avoid this problem? Take time each week to review changes to your employee population and your business. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I offered benefits to all my newly hired employees who are eligible?
- Have I identified employees who have status changes that impact their eligibility or benefit contribution?
- Were there contract changes that impact our benefits?
Once the day-to-day upkeep is completed, it’s time to take a longer look at your benefits offering. Ask yourself these questions:
- What lessons have we learned from ACA?
- Can we adjust our benefits to be more cost efficient?
- How are we staying competitive in our industry to recruit and retain the best employees?
- In the changing world of benefits, what adjustments should we make to ensure compliance?
- Does offering insurance benefits make sense for our company?
Now is the perfect time to schedule a meeting with your employee benefits broker to plan your strategy before the deadlines of year-end are knocking at the door. Find out what other businesses of your size are doing and determine your budget for benefits to find the perfect fit for your company. Your employees are one of your biggest investments, so you want to make sure you take good care of them.
TEAM is committed to helping our clients navigate the Affordable Care Act and other employee-related legislation through timely news and software updates. For more information on our insurance benefits management solution, click here.