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Three Not-So-Obvious Advantages Of Utilizing An HRIS For Benefits Management

A Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is an information system or managed service that provides a single, centralized view of the data that a human resource management or human capital management group requires for completing HR processes.

In other words, it’s a tool that organizes all of the data pertinent to the HR function.

The HRIS is all the rage in HR and benefits management lately, and for good reason.  It’s a game changer for simplifying and organizing the life of busy HR professionals and benefits administrators.  The versatility and functionality is vast, but for purposes of keeping this article manageable, my focus will revolve around employee benefits.

The fact is we live much of our lives online, and the benefits world has lagged behind. Larger organizations have been making the digital transition over the past few years and it’s now becoming a standard for every organization, regardless of size.

There are a multitude of benefits to an HRIS, including the drastic reduction of paperwork, the autonomy for employees to manage their own benefits, online filing systems, and more.

However, it is the lessor thought about capabilities that get me excited. Sometimes, it’s knowing the day-to-day responsibilities that will improve that make all the difference when considering an HRIS.

  1. Online Enrollment Improvements for Multi-Plan Options and/or Age Rated Plans

    As benefit costs have escalated, many employers have turned to an increased number of plan offerings.  That, along with the advent of ACA age rated plans, has made presenting options to employees cumbersome and even confusing. When a plan is age rated, an employer is forced to break it down for employees and dependents individually (a massive undertaking especially with multiple plans involved) or provide a table in which employees must figure out their own contributions, which has its own pitfalls.

    HRIS to the rescue!  Individual employee and dependent contributions are calculated and presented by the system with no additional time investment on the part of HR or benefits administrators.

  2. ACA Compliance Features and Reports

    Not only has ACA made benefits administration more complicated and burdensome for organizations, it also carries the threat of hefty financial penalties for non-compliance.  Here is how an HRIS system can help:

    • Applicable Large Employer (ALE) Reporting – The information that needs to be reported is built into the system.  Many systems can also produce the forms at a minimal charge depending on the company’s needs and the HRIS platform selected.
    • Variable Hour Employee Tracking
    • Proof of Health Coverage and Offer of Coverage (for those that decline)
    • Proof of Required Documents and Notifications Distribution - The system can be used to furnish notifications and track that they are opened and digitally signed.  Excellent audit protection!
  3. Data Reporting Capabilities

    An HRIS system contains considerable amounts of employee and plan data, all of which can be retrieved in the form of reports.  Do you see the possibilities?  Fellow Excel lovers, rejoice!

    Here are some examples of how this can make life easier:

    • Imagine an open enrollment in which every employee must choose a new plan.  Now imagine all of those changes and subsequent payroll deductions are easily uploaded in excel.  Better yet, imagine you can import that into the format your payroll company requires so the process is seamless.
    • Worried about aged out dependent children on your plan? Click one button and there they are.
    • Quoting out a new line of coverage that requires salaries, occupations and zip codes?  You can produce that in a minute.
    • Want to see which plans employees trended toward based on contributions in the past 3 years?  It’s all there and easily accessible.
    • How about Total Compensation Statements?  That’s one click as well.

Recently, an administrator was concerned that HMO employees were assigned to incorrect PCPs.  With one download, we had the list to audit.  Just use your imagination and the information is easily available to you. 

This is just a small segment of how an HRIS can modernize and revolutionize the way you administer your company benefits.  When you add additional HR functionality to the mix, it’s something you really can’t afford not to consider!

For more information on human resource information systems, the options available for your size organization and how your organization could benefit, reach out to your OneDigital advisor.