Group Benefit Plan Administration – Be a Superhero

Sep 01, 2015

Benefit plan administrators can be anyone in an organization. It may be handled by a human resources professional, a CFO, an office manager, or a company owner. Whatever your role, it’s in your best interest to be the benefit plan superhero. What does that mean? Be the confident holder of the plan details, be compassionate to sensitive claim issues, be humble enough to ask for advice from your consultant, be a financial manager on overall costs and ultimately dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s of plan administration. Batman had his resources (Batmobile), good advisors (Alfred) and personal experience to draw from and you can too.

A successful plan administrator will go over the enrolment form on the first day of employment, submit it online or via mail within 31 days so the employee isn’t a late applicant which comes with plan limits as well as proof of health. As that employee, let’s call her Emily, continues in your organization, be aware that any life event – marriage, having kids, divorce, death – all require contact with the insurance carrier. When Emily’s salary increases, you will update the employee’s records, either online or via form sent by mail, to ensure she has adequate health and disability coverage.

Prescription medications can be a minefield to claim. Perhaps Emily gets diagnosed with high cholesterol and now needs medication to control it. If your plan is set up with generic drugs as the reimbursement choice, ensuring Emily, and all employees, know that there are generic versions of many of the most popular drugs out there and cholesterol drugs are some of the largest prescribed.

During the course of Emily’s employment, there may be plan changes that may impact her and many of her co-workers. Holding regular employee meetings or distributing benefit plan updates can do a lot to not only answer questions all at once but also gain a level of respect for this important component of compensation. This can also assist the plan sponsor’s claims experience over the year by directing employees to best usage of the plan.

If Emily should ever leave your organization, here’s another opportunity to be a plan superhero. Most plans have a conversion privilege for life insurance. This can be a great perk if Emily has a complicated medical history and can’t get life insurance in the marketplace.

In summary, benefit plan administration is an important part of the overall business management, so if you have the tools, the advice and the personal experience to draw on, you will undoubtedly be the Batman of your benefit program.

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