4 Healthcare Management Challenges Solved with HRMS
Keeping a handle on healthcare benefits, in an organization of any size, can be something of a nightmare. The sheer variety of policies and plans that must be tracked and managed, the imperative for legislative compliance and proper reporting, helping employees make the right choices for them, and of course, there’s the cost: healthcare management has become more complex for employers and shows no sign of simplifying anytime soon. Of course, this is particularly so in the US since the introduction of healthcare reform and Obamacare, but the basic principles apply to any modern country with a modicum of labor law. The following are some of the primary challenges to HR healthcare management that a good HRMS can help with.
Complexity of Healthcare
First of all, there’s the complexity issue. Diversity is a nice concise way of saying that your employees are all individuals and as such, their healthcare needs will vary wildly: a young fit and single twenty-something will have a different angle on their benefits package to a married employee nearing retirement who will, in turn, differ from the parent of a young family, and so on. The upside is that there is a health plan to suit any set of circumstances; the down side is that as the employer, your HR department has to keep track of who has opted for (and claimed on) what. Needless to say, automation makes HR healthcare recordkeeping straightforward.
Variety of Healthcare
The variety of offerings can also be a barrier for your employees. Come annual open enrollment time, they need to take in a large amount of in-depth and even conflicting information in order to make the right choice of healthcare plan for them and their dependents (if any). Again, a benefits-focused HRMS can automate and ease the healthcare communications process, supplementing hard copy and face to face information with a number of electronic, easy-access channels, including comparison tables, FAQs, employee forums, and online chatrooms.
Compliance in Healthcare
Then there’s the compliance aspect of healthcare benefits. Employers face a raft of state and federal legislation linked to aspects of payroll, benefits/reward packages, and healthcare provision that carries expensive penalties if not followed. Unfortunately, some of this legislation may appear contradictory and even (think Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) be subject to a number of ongoing legal challenges. Having an up to date HRMS that prompts and signposts the appropriate healthcare reporting responsibilities can ease the burden of compliance in HR healthcare administration; especially if the onus for keeping the software up to date lies with your IT provider.
Staffing Healthcare Administration
Finally, all this complexity highlights the requirement for knowledgeable, experienced and competent people to manage your HR healthcare administration processes. This in turn puts extra pressure on your recruitment strategy; a pressure that can be relieved to a certain extent by sourcing the right HRMS package – or outsourcing the whole area to a supplier who uses such a package.
Unsurprisingly, a recent Towers Watson survey found that 91% of organizations have automated benefits administration (including healthcare provision) either through outsourcing or using a cloud-based HR system. However, a final warning, the same survey found that of those employers who were dissatisfied with their benefits management, 69% cited inadequate HRMS software. As ever, the moral is: invest in HRMS, but invest wisely.