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Top 10 Best Practices for Healthcare and Benefit Management in the Staffing Industry

With job openings hovering at historically high levels, a shrinking labor pool, and the IRS cracking down on regulatory compliance, it is more important than ever to ensure your benefit management practices are both supporting and protecting your business and your employees’ best interests.  To help navigate these uncertain waters, Essential StaffCARE has prepared 10 golden rules to guide your healthcare and benefit offerings and procedures.  
 

  1. Maximize Your Employees’ Insurance Participation
    The effects of high insurance participation reach far beyond medicine and physical health. Studies prove employees who enroll in health benefits are more productive, show greater loyalty and remain in their positions 47% longer on average. Extending your employees’ tenure creates efficiencies across the board and boosts your bottom line.
  2. Offer Benefits at On-Boarding
    The best time to offer benefits is during the employee on-boarding process - even if the candidate has not yet received an assignment. Capturing responses during on-boarding significantly increases enrollment, typically as much as triple the enrollment compared to asking employees to sign up on their own. It also ensures 100% “Offer of Benefits” compliance, which is paramount in light of recent regulatory enforcement and penalties.
  3. Streamline Your Benefit Offering Procedures
    There’s no need to create additional administrative hurdles for your internal staff or prospective employees. Integrate processes into your on-boarding workflow so that your candidates’ application information is populated and recorded across all the required forms in one streamlined system.
  4. Implement a Hassle-Free Data Exchange Process
    Merge your existing payroll system with benefit processing for weekly automated, behind-the-scenes transactions. Let your existing payroll software do the heavy lifting of determining employment status, then communicate the appropriate deductions to your provider.
  5. Include an In-and-Out-of-Benefit Status Process
    Coverage should automatically activate based on employees’ current assignment status, triggered by a weekly payroll deduction file.  Perfect for the staffing industry and the on-again off-again nature of the business!  If a claim occurs during a week when the employee is not on assignment… no problem. The employee simply makes a missed premium payment direct to the administrator, and the claim is paid.  If there is no claim during the period when the employee is not on assignment, then there is no missed premium payment required. The deductions simply restart when the employee returns to an assignment.
  6. Utilize an Employer Dashboard
    Simplify HR responsibilities with comprehensive online administration. Your toolbox should have the ability to look up employee participation, provide coverage files to assist with ACA reporting and analyze your population to determine total counts of your full time status.
  7. Support Pre-Hire Employees
    Require pre-hire employees to elect or decline benefits prior to receiving a work assignment. Benefits will automatically become active when an employee begins work - in the meantime, store pre-hire information in a pending status and allow new prospects to make benefit election or declinations prior to going on assignment.
  8. Demand Coverage Files
    Align your data with calendar tools to ensure compliance reports are submitted on deadline. With the IRS following through on their promise to enforce regulations, it is imperative to stay ahead of your reporting.
  9. Utilize a Variable-Hour Tool
    Easily quantify hours worked to classify your employee as part time or full time in order to ensure compliance. Part time employees who are called to work additional hours can easily cross the threshold and qualify as full time in the eyes of the IRS. These employees can unwittingly trigger tax penalties if not handled and reported correctly.
  10. Monitor Performance
    Require your third-party administrator to demonstrate expertise in their operations, compare your results to industry benchmarks. Ask your TPA about their financial accuracy, speed of claims response and resolution rate.


Source: Insurance Applications Group, Inc. http://www.iagbenefits.com/

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