As healthcare costs and regulations continue to grow, benefits portals are no longer a “nice to have” for employers. They’re now a critical tool in managing and tracking employee benefits.
While benefit portals have been available to employers for years, now is the time for employers to actively be logging in and using them. Here are four reasons why:
With hacking and data breaches on the rise, employers can’t afford to be using unsecure means to send employees’ personal health information. Benefit portals are secure, HIPAA-compliant, and regularly monitored for data protection. As a result, employers should be using the portal’s secure email to send employee PHI to the insurer, rather than regular email. Or they should be submitting employee enrollment details through online enrollment, rather than on a paper form that could get into the wrong hands. Benefit portals are built for security; employers should take advantage of them to protect employees’ PHI and to protect themselves from the headache of a breach.
“Compliance” is a broad term, and it doesn’t just apply to employee benefits. It also applies to personnel management, hiring practices, and safety. All these issues must be monitored, addressed, and regularly followed to avoid penalties, fines, and lawsuits. To stay on top of compliance, employers should be using the web portal’s HR Compliance Knowledgebase to learn about new regulations, receive HR training, and even access sample documents for hiring, disciplining, and managing benefits. Compliance is an ongoing pursuit; employers should use the resources available for that pursuit.
3. Healthcare Cost Management
There are many proposed strategies for controlling healthcare costs, but how is an employer to know if the strategies are working? By logging in and seeing for themselves. Benefit portals have analytical reports that summarize claims activity, spending trends, and how well a plan is performing. These reports can be accessed on demand, enabling the employer to monitor results and quickly work with their insurer or TPA to make changes. As healthcare cost control becomes a greater priority, employers should leverage their online tools to track the financial success of their employee healthcare plan.
4. Employee Benefits Support
Let’s face it. Health insurance is complicated, and a recent Accenture survey showed 52% of employees to be “healthcare illiterate”. To help employees realize the value of the benefit plan, employers should rely on their portal to educate employees on what’s included and how to use them. Whether it’s showing employees their deductible or copay details, printing an ID card for them, or showing them the wellness programs and telemedicine options, employers can support their employees in becoming more engaged with their benefits and drive utilization.
Benefit portals satisfy several needs in today’s healthcare and employee benefits industries. Employers would be wise to use them in being more attentive to security, compliance, healthcare cost management, and in helping employees get the most out of their benefit plan.
To see firsthand how our benefits portal helps employers manage and adapt to industry trends, schedule a demo.