Given the important role that the software solution can hold in the user experience equation, what should benefits brokers, TPAs and employers expect from their software providers?
By John Robbins Jr.
Originally Posted by BenefitsPRO
December 22, 2021
Benefit brokers, third-party administrators (TPAs) and human resource managers provide, administer and manage benefits packages for companies of all sizes. As the workplace evolves and workforce needs change, benefits are becoming more complex. The administrative systems relied on for these purposes can have a major impact.
Given the important role that the software solution can hold in the user experience equation, what should benefits brokers, TPAs and employers expect from their technology partners? Or to put it another way – what do software providers owe to their clients?
Technology has been growing at an exponential rate, particularly over the last several decades. People tend to get very excited by the next new thing, something that’s on the “cutting edge.” When it’s something fun and entertaining – like a cool new phone or the latest video game with amazing graphics – we tend to get annoyed when we encounter “bugs,” but that’s about it.
However, tax-advantaged benefit accounts are a very different matter. In this highly regulated space, finding a technology solutions provider with years of industry experience can be invaluable.
To achieve their goals, some employers need complex plan designs. Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) often come into play in such situations. An estimated 15.5 million HRA accounts are currently in force across the country. Administration of even the more traditional HRA plan designs can get complicated, and in recent years, new HRA plan types have been created.
Good benefits software will have the functionality to meet the many complexities that come with serving employer goals. Technology partners should be on top of industry trends and have the foresight to modernize their administrative platforms on a consistent basis.
Most people acquire technology to enhance their capabilities, accuracy and efficiency. For administrators offering multiple types of tax-advantaged benefit accounts, a single technology solution that can manage everything within a single system is ideal. Those who have to partner with a separate provider for, say, health savings account (HSA) administration, are at risk for operational inefficiencies and, in turn, decreased client satisfaction.
Technical support is integral to any technology solution. From the brokers, TPAs and HR managers involved in creating, administering and managing the plans, to the employees who use the plans, access to quality customer support through multiple channels is crucial to adoption and usage.
Customer support is more than just technical expertise. More and more, brokers and administrators need access to professional marketing support materials that can be branded or customized to their organization and clients.
If employees are not using benefits because they don’t understand them, having effective educational materials available is paramount to increasing benefits adoption and usage rates. This, in turn, results in improved return on investment for the employers sponsoring those benefits, and higher client satisfaction for the brokers and TPAs involved.
Finally, a software provider with the benefit of extensive knowledge and experience should share it with clients, non-clients, and others in the industry to impact the common good. A record of thought leadership also serves as a sign of the provider’s own strength and reliability.
Read the full article, “What Brokers Should Expect from Technology Partners,” on BenefitsPRO.