If you’re like most small businesses, everyone wears many hats. Managing your group benefits plan is likely just one of your responsibilities.
You might think that there’s no easier way; group benefits are complicated and come with a time commitment. In reality, there are ways to streamline the process, avoid administration and get more time back in your day to keep growing your business.
Here are a few actions you can take when selecting and managing your group benefits that will help save you time.
Renew every two years
Although most group benefits plans renew on an annual basis, some will offer a two-year renewal period. This provides more stable rates that help you better plan your business expenses. It will also save you time since you don’t have to annually review and renew your benefits plan.
Stable, two-year renewal periods also create group benefits arrangements that lead to less marketing.
Look for stable pricing options
All too often insurers will come to the table with an artificially discounted rate to get your business. Their goal is to make large increases each renewal until your business is profitable with them. These annual jumps in price prompt you to go back to the market, looking for a better rate.
It comes as no surprise that taking your group benefits plan to market can be a time-consuming process. Confirming your plan requirements, meeting with your advisor, reviewing proposals and communicating the changes to employees can feel like a full-time job!
So, how do you save the time spent frequently marketing your benefits plan? It starts by selecting a carrier who has a history of stable and predictable price increases. Working with a carrier whose initial rate may not be the lowest, but who offers lower, predictable increases will help avoid price shocks that prompt you to go to market, repeating this vicious cycle every year.
Take advantage of online benefit selection
Once you’ve selected a group benefits provider your work is done, right? Not so fast. The enrolment period can be overwhelming for plan administrators as your plan members fill out their paperwork, select their benefits, sign up for direct deposit and become accustomed to the new system.
To help plan administrators save time during enrolment, some group benefits providers offer online plan member enrolment tools. These tools simplify the onboarding process by sending information directly to plan members and allowing them to enrol from their computer or mobile device. Plan members can enter dependent, banking, coordination of benefits and beneficiary information electronically.
Online plan member enrolment tools lessen the effort required for plan administrators and can reduce the errors that can come from managing paperwork. They can even send automatic reminders to plan members as enrolment deadlines approach.
The next time you’re selecting a group benefits provider, ask them about their renewal schedule, what price increases you can expect and if they have tools to simplify the onboarding process. By asking the right questions up front, you can save yourself time down the road.
And couldn’t we all use a little more time in our day to focus on what really matters?