UBP blog

08/05/2009

Three reasons your employee benefits information should be online

Filed under: employee benefit communication — ubpblogger @ 12:00 pm
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We are almost a decade into the 21st century and just about everything has migrated onto the Internet. You can shop online, book travel online, bank online and in Boston, MBTA customers can now update Charlie Cards online. Shouldn’t employee benefits information be online too?

Here are three good reasons to put all of your company’s benefits information into one user-friendly online portal.

  1. Books and binders are for the dark ages.

 Yet, many employers still use them to communicate benefits. Paper is becoming more and more obsolete each day as employees spend greater amounts of time surfing the web. So, when you hand your employees a huge binder with all of their benefits summaries stuffed into it, you might as well just be handing them a scroll written with one of those feather pens. 

In fact, why don’t you just write their benefits information in old English while you’re at it? How does “thou shalt have access to thine health insurance 90 days following the date thou art hired” sound? Pretty old fashioned, right?

If you want to move your employee benefit communication away from the outdated and old-fashioned, there’s no better time than now to make the move to the Web.

 2.    HR needs a permanent vacation from redundant questions.

Anyone in HR knows that it’s more than a full-time job. You’re responsible for recruiting and retaining top talent, compliance with federal and state laws and so much more. Then, there’s benefits. Not only do you have to administer and communicate them, you have to answer the same questions about them every day.

Putting all employee benefits information into a user-friendly, secure online portal will take this burden off your shoulders. The next time employees come to you with redundant requests (i.e. “can I have a claim form?’) you’ll just need to point them in the direction of your website and they’ll be good to go.

 3.    There’s no such thing as “take your spouse to open-enrollment day”

This is significant because 50% of employees (who make up the audience at open enrollment meetings) don’t make the benefits decisions for their families, their spouses do. If the spouses are making benefits-decisions, shouldn’t they have self-service access to benefits information too?

An employee benefits portal with self-service access from anywhere there’s Internet helps out a lot with this. It allows employees and their spouses to view information on all benefits offered, make intelligent decisions together and even enroll from the comfort of their own homes.

Universal Benefit Plans has fully recognized that the future for benefit administration and communication is on the Internet. We have all the resources you’ll need to make your move to the Web a seamless one so call us at (617) 859-1777 and we’ll gladly share them with you.

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07/15/2009

Modernization techniques can save the healthcare industry $33.2 billion per-year, and UBP is ahead of the curve

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubpblogger @ 10:21 am
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Let’s face it, our nation is not getting the most out of the $2.6 trillion we spend on health care. As such, United Health Group’s Center for Reform and Modernization has looked in to ways the industry can achieve substantial cost savings via technology in a recent working paper.

United Health Group estimates that the healthcare industry’s administrative expenditures are about $290 billion per-year. If the industry puts their working paper’s suggestions into practice and leverages technology to its fullest, the Group estimates a total savings of $332 billion in national health expenditure over the next decade. That’s roughly 33.2 billion dollars per-year. Of the proposed savings, United Health Group estimates 30 percent will go to health plans.

United Health Group’s Executive Vice President Simon Stevens stated in a June 30th conference call that the healthcare industry’s manual administration processes cost doctors, hospitals and health plans alike considerable amounts of time and money. In order to illustrate how archaic the healthcare industry’s administrative practices are, he made a direct comparison to both the travel and banking industries. In administrative matters, if the processes used in banking and travel were as out of date as those in healthcare, everyone would do all of their banking face-to-face in brick and mortar establishments. Similarly, no one would be able to book travel or find the most economic travel deals online.

Among United Health Group’s recommended cost saving tactics was the elimination of the paper explanations of benefits issued with each claim. The Group suggested replacing these paper statements with electronic ones similar to the monthly statements you receive from your bank. They also recommended delivering the statements electronically and in a secure fashion instead of mailing them out.

All of this would reduce the cost of explaining benefits 68% per-claim and produce a $14 billion dollar cost savings over the next decade. The group also suggested utilizing technologies currently available to automate the entire claims payment process, which could save roughly $109 billion in a decade.

Universal Benefit Plans is ahead of the modernization curve:

At Universal Benefit Plans, we have already implemented several of United Health Group’s suggested modernization tactics. Our proprietary double-encrypted HRIS system, The HR in a Box™, not only streamlines all benefit administration processes but makes benefit communication much easier with employee self-service. The HR in a Box™ allows companies to maintain all vital plan documentation and information in a secure online database and facilitates the transition of any such documentation whenever necessary from employer to broker via a double-encrypted electronic mail mechanism.

To learn more about how you can leverage our HRIS technology to reap considerable cost savings, give us a call at (617) 859-1777 or visit our website at www.universalbenefitplans.com.

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