David Rodeck

4 Ways Technology Can Help HR Overcome Benefits Challenges

Some things get easier over time, but that’s not always the case when it comes to managing a human resources (HR) department. Just think of the responsibilities that pile up: keeping up with changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ever-expanding departmental obligations and more complicated employee benefits come to mind, just to name a few.

Fortunately, health care management technology and other HR tools have made huge strides that help HR leaders handle these changing duties. So what are the main reasons HR departments may be struggling with employee benefits administration? Here’s a look at four of the benefits obstacles facing HR, and the technology solutions built to help you navigate around them.

1. Finding Time for Growing Responsibilities

The problem: The duties of HR have expanded. Not only do you need to oversee traditional day-to-day functions like recruitment, payroll, workplace safety and training, but it’s likely you also find yourself taking on other time-consuming jobs like keeping up with ACA compliance and creating a budget for employee benefits. HR is increasingly becoming a strategic role tasked with figuring out how to maximize the return on benefits.

The solution: With the new scope of HR, there’s less time for administration and paperwork. This is where technology comes in. For example, the Anthem EmployerAccess portal makes it easy to track and process tasks by letting you pay bills, pull reports and manage Anthem benefit plans for every employee, all in one place. Speeding up this kind of administrative work through HR management tools gives you more time to focus on your strategic responsibilities.

2. Keeping Track of Benefits Usage

The problem: If your organization is going to invest in a new benefit, you want it to see enough usage from your employees to justify the cost. While employees might say they’re excited to take advantage of health-related benefits like gym memberships, on-site medical facilities and financial planning services, they don’t always end up doing so.

Employees may also inadvertently use their benefits in a way that increases cost. If they’re going outside their network for care or using a more expensive version of a prescription when a generic is available, you need that data to plan your benefits — but collecting everything can be time-consuming and unreliable, especially if you depend on employees to self-report.

The solution: Anthem’s Client Information Insights tools analyze your employee benefits data and create reports, so you can track usage and discover hidden issues that may be driving up costs. These HR management tools lay out your data in easy-to-view charts and offer multiple benchmarks to show how your organization compares.

You’ll take in information for clinical, network and provider value, allowing you to recommend the most cost-effective options to your employees as well. With this analysis, you can make the most informed decisions based on real employee benefits usage.

3. Helping Employees Understand Their Benefits

The problem: When employees don’t understand their benefits, they don’t know how to manage them effectively. Even worse, they may not appreciate the value they’re getting from your organization’s investment. HR should not only educate staff but also keep them informed over time with regular updates and reminders.

But as benefits get more complex, these may pose a challenge for someone without an insurance and financial background.

The solution: Anthem’s online portal offers educational materials on a slew of relevant subjects. Take advantage of this resource to share flyers, brochures and other training materials that can help guide employees during open enrollment. During the rest of the year, Anthem’s newsletters and articles can give the entire workforce regular advice on improving their quality of life and engaging with their workplace benefits.

4. Empowering Employees to Take Control Over Their Cost and Care Decisions

The problem: Ultimately, your health insurance program is a partnership with your employees, which means everyone involved needs to uphold their end. You can provide the best package, but it’s up to your employees to take care of their health. In planning their care, employees can proactively stay healthy rather than waiting for a major health setback — a smart move that controls costs both for them and for your organization. So, how can you give employees more control over these important decisions?

The solution: A quality health plan provider should make it easier for employees to track and meet their wellness goals. That’s why Anthem has developed a mobile hub where employees can immediately access everything, wherever and whenever they want. It’s like a personalized health assistant accessible through the Anthem mobile app.

With this tool, employees can review their benefits, access services like telehealth and their nursing hotline, receive tips based on their health profile, track claims data and receive coaching to manage a condition.

New challenges need new solutions — and through innovative health care management technology, Anthem is meeting the call. When the tasks that keep your organization running smoothly seem overwhelming, know that you’re not alone. Solutions like these are here to lighten your load and help you more effectively manage your large group HR.

Ready to explore how Anthem can help you overcome benefits challenges? Contact us today.