Human resources and benefits administration have always required a sizable investment of a company’s resources. And today, in an ever-changing landscape, the strain on mid-sized companies from the burden of benefits administration is growing even greater.

Changes in health care in recent years have added an additional layer of complexity to benefits administration, stretching already-thin company resources even further, and the challenges will only grow as more health care reform policies take effect in 2014.

What Lies Ahead

New provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was signed into law in 2009, will kick in for employers over the next two years, most of them taking effect in 2014. In 2013, changes in Medicare Part D retiree drug subsidy payments will change, along with new limits on Flexible Spending Accounts.  In 2014, the individual mandate kicks in, and companies with 50 or more employees will be subject to penalties for failing to offer coverage. Clearly, PPACA alone will dramatically increase the workload for human resources staff.

Many companies, particularly mid-sized businesses, are finding relief by outsourcing their benefits administration, and studies have shown that outsourcing not only saves money, but also provides a greater level of customer service to employees. This option allows human resources staff to focus on other critical functions, and helps companies operate more efficiently, stay current on all regulations, and control costs.

The Benefits of Outsourcing

A knowledgeable benefits administrator can handle ongoing and routine tasks such as

  • new employee benefits processing
  • change processing
  • termination benefits processing
  • employee claims assistance
  • billing reconciliation and management

Additionally, a benefits partner can manage new regulations and compliance, such as:

  • COBRA administration processing
  • Section 125 implementation, administration and compliance
  • HIPAA, Health Care Reform and ERISA notices
  • ERISA Form 5500 Annual Health & Welfare filing

Since these brokers specialize in benefits administration processing, they are typically able to provide a high level of service to companies at a lower cost than keeping in-house staff up-to-date and fully trained. The complexity of benefits administration often requires companies to dedicate one full-time employee that that area alone.

VISICOR is a full-service employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm located in Houston, serving mid-size to large public and private companies throughout Texas and specializing in benefits administration, benefits consulting, benefits communication, and human resources consulting.  More information about benefits administration outsourcing can be found on the VISICOR website at www.visicor.net, or by calling 281-824-3124.