When shopping for employee benefits vendors, it’s important to choose a vendor who is experienced and skilled in the area. You want to get the right fit for your company. The benefits department can be a daunting place to begin. It can be filled with too much terminology and too many different processes. So what exactly should you look for?
The first thing to look for when you’re shopping around for employee benefits vendors is whether they are experienced in dealing with the various laws and regulations that apply in your state and in the country in which you operate. Most employee benefits vendors allow employers to complete the benefits enrollment and claims process themselves, if they like, from their own offices. This is a good option for companies that aren’t quite ready to roll out all the features of a benefits program. However, for businesses that are ready to go online and start processing claims, it’s almost always a better idea to hire an experienced and knowledgeable vendor. Hiring a company that has been in business for years means that they understand the technology and the operational issues that face businesses today. They will know how to streamline the claims process so that it’s easier and cheaper for employers to complete, meaning that both sides can profit.
Another key feature to look for in employee benefits vendors is whether or not they offer a HIPAA-compliant system. HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It was passed by Congress in 1996 and originally targeted electronic medical records. Ever since, it’s been used to standardize medical insurance coverage and to strengthen patient privacy laws. If your vendor doesn’t have a way to deal with HIPAA compliance, you might not be able to stay within the guidelines, which could put your company at a competitive disadvantage.
You’ll also want to be sure that your outsource provider offers services other than just filing paperwork. Most people are familiar with the term “medical malpractice” and how it can open the door to large settlements. There’s also “breach of fiduciary duty” and other similar cases. These cases have made it very hard for the average person to retain their jobs, so companies are always looking for ways to protect themselves. A good human resources consultant will be familiar with all of the latest developments in this area and be able to tell you what it means if your employees use their benefits improperly.
Many employers have the impression that having an employee-benefits expert on your team will cost them too much money. This is simply not true. One of the best benefits consultants will offer a free initial meeting to assess your company’s needs. They may even be able to get you a quote without any obligation. They will also be able to help your human resources department to develop a plan of action. Even if you decide to go with a traditional healthcare plan, it’s important to keep in mind that many employers are now including employee benefits as part of their benefits package.
Today’s potential covid-19 pandemic preparation vendors are offering much more than just a healthcare attorney and a healthcare benefit officer. In fact, they often have the expertise to handle several different areas that will be essential to your business’ success. Your employees need access to their benefits when they need it most; and an HR expert knows just where to look for the best sources.
Perhaps the single most important thing that HR experts can do for your company is to create a policy that ensures that your employees are comfortable sharing personal information. The new health care reform law makes it easier than ever for private health information to cross borders. Before you make the decision to switch to an HR company, you need to be absolutely certain that your current employees understand what it means for them to share this kind of personal data. A strong privacy rule will go a long way towards ensuring that your employees feel secure about the information that they divulge to any of their colleagues.
Finally, you should always have a separate HR department for handling health information. This division should include not only a medical professional but also someone knowledgeable about the details of your benefit plan. When you have employees working in two places, you want to be sure that their understanding of the regulations and their connection to their HR department is clear at all times. A separate line of communication will go a long way towards keeping your organization running smoothly.