The ABCs of Benefits in 2016


In 2015, there were countless updates and modifications to the Affordable Care Act. The administrative hassle has cost tens of thousands of businesses time, money, and energy to remain compliant. However, 2016 has proved to be tumultuous as well. This means it’s never too late to brush up on the ABCs of benefits, although we’re halfway through 2016.

The ABCs of benefits mean you don’t just need to understand the law, but need to implement a number of best practices as well. As such, we’ve compiled three of our best tips to ensure you’re always on top of compliance, no matter what happens to the law.

1. Develop a Compliance Calendar, and Stick to It!

There are multiple legal requirements that take place throughout the year with regard to employee benefits. If you forget to mark them down, you may end up with a headache on your hands.

It’s best that you create a compliance calendar with all major requirements to protect yourself against fines. Typically, these compliance requirements will pertain to areas such as HIPAA, ERISA, COBRA, and ACA, among others.

2. Focus Your Benefit Strategies

Your benefit strategy should benefit employees while controlling costs for your organization. While your healthcare broker can (and should) assist with this, it’s important that you prioritize a strategy that makes sense for your organization and for your employees.

A recent report entitled the 2015 Towers Watson/NBGH Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey reveals employers should prioritize:

  • Employee well-being, in terms of health, financial, and workplace experience;
  • Plan design strategies; and

  • Cultivating a workplace in which employees feel and are responsible for their health.

By focusing on these areas, you’ll ensure you don’t spread yourself too thin and remain compliant while still pleasing employees.

3. Use Benefits Technology to Your Advantage

Benefits technology continues to grow, as does SMB interest in this technology. After all, if you fail to utilize technology you aren’t only doing your employees a disservice, but yourself as well.

Platforms like Flock are designed to give employees 24/7 access to benefits and employers peace of mind that they are always compliant with state and federal regulations. It also tracks time-off and offers social networking tools to busy workplaces to stay connected. The best part? You can sign up for free.

Small Business Employee Benefits Have Changed, But it Doesn’t Have to be Difficult…

Often, employers make employee benefits more difficult as they need to be, especially as they change over time. Luckily, you can stay updated on the most recent ABCs of benefits to keep your SMB on top of changing regulations and employee preferences.

By using the tips above, you can keep your organization compliant and your employees happy. Sounds like a win-win situation to us.

 

What are your thoughts: Have you used any technology or other tools to help manage your benefits program and remain compliant with the ACA? Why or why not? Share your experiences in the comments below!