5 Ways the Digital World Can Support Employee Benefits
Online and digital is no longer for high-tech, forward-thinking companies. Instead, it has become the norm across the economy. The way that digital technology is applied can vary, but the bottom line is that it is everywhere, and it is here to stay. There are a number of great ways that digital technology supports employee health benefits.
Embrace the Digital World
One of the great things about the digital world is that it usually improves both processes and customer experience. The result is gains in productivity and a smoother, more streamlined client experience.
Even if technology isn’t usually in your wheelhouse, the digital world can do a lot to support your employee health benefits plan.
There are many ways that the digital world can support employee health benefits – here are the top 5.
- Virtual Healthcare. Virtual healthcare means employees and their families can connect with a doctor or nurse practitioner using technology. Usually, this means using a mobile phone, tablet or computer to connect. More than half the health concerns typically addressed in a doctor’s office can be effectively dealt with via virtual healthcare.
The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is significant because most doctor’s offices and clinics are closed on weekends and some holidays. The result is better access to healthcare.
For employees, it saves time and money. No travelling to the doctor’s office and no spending money to get there. Instead, the employee can access virtual healthcare when it works for their schedule, from wherever is most convenient for them. It also helps fill the gap for employees and their families who don’t have a family physician. Virtual healthcare helps provide continuity of care for these individuals.
It’s also a win for you, the employer. By giving your employees access to this service, they’re more likely to address health concerns. Addressing and treating health concerns takes some of the stress off other areas of your employee health benefits plan. It also leads to higher productivity and fewer absences. It’s clear that virtual healthcare has an important role in supporting your employee benefits plan.
- The MyGroupHEALTH App – In a digital world, it’s essential that employees have easy access to information on their health benefits. Since carrying around a paper copy of their health benefits booklet is unlikely, a benefits-specific app nicely fills the gap.
At GroupHEALTH, our user-friendly app gives employees access to benefits and coverage information on the go. It allows users to quickly view their benefits card, check available coverage, view benefit-specific balance remaining and verify or change eligible dependents. It also gives employees an easy way to submit digital claims, view past claims and provide direct deposit information for reimbursements.
A digital app like MyGroupHEALTH really does improve the benefits experience for employees. It supports the employee benefits plan by providing real-time, relevant info.
- WEBS online – Administering an employee health benefits plan can be a difficult job – especially without a robust online administration platform. At GroupHEALTH, our online administration platform is called WEBS online. It was developed by GroupHEALTH, incorporating years of employee benefits administration experience. It supports employee health benefits by providing your plan administrator with a powerful, user-friendly administration platform.
WEBS online supports your plan administrator by allowing them to administer the plan from anywhere, at any time. It includes features that improve the ease of administering the plan. Your plan admin can create custom reports to break down usage and cost by division or location, in ways that make sense for your organization.
It also provides reminders and alarms for approaching deadlines. For example, if an employee is eligible for a waiver of premium, the system will alert the plan administrator so they can apply for waiver of premium before the deadline is reached.
An online administration platform is a staple in the digital world. It supports employee benefits by improving productivity and accuracy in benefits plan administration.
- Online Enrollment – Although online forms and enrollments are taken for granted in many industries, the introduction of online enrollment for employee benefits (a type of insurance) was significant. Insurance documents typically include a lot of fine print and legalities; for this reason, paper enrollment was the only option for many years.
Paper enrollment was cumbersome – employees slogged through the enrollment forms without an easy way to get information when they had questions about the forms. Next, the plan administrator would have to collect the forms (and chase down employees who hadn’t submitted theirs). After that, they would manually enter the information from the paper enrollment forms into their administration system. By now it should be obvious that this process was very labour-intensive and had a higher probability of errors in transcribing the information.
The digital world has changed that. It supports employee benefits by allowing employees to enroll online. Online enrollment means employees are virtually walked through the enrollment process, having the ability to click on help functions for information and answers to common questions. The system follows up with employees who have not enrolled and prompts employees for missing information. The plan administrator can easily see a summary of enrollment and can focus on solving problems, as opposed to transcribing information. Online enrollment is significantly more efficient than traditional paper enrollment.
- Employee and Family Assistance Program – Most companies recognize the importance of supporting employees and their families with life’s challenges by offering access to an Employee and Family Assistance Program. At GroupHEALTH, we provide support through TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks). The digital world has improved this service immensely.
Employees and their families can access free, confidential support for personal and work-related issues. In addition to counselling (a staple for employee and family assistance programs), the digital world brings with it an online platform and app with many resources. Employees can access articles, videos, podcasts and toolkits on a wide range of topics. Information on the site is frequently updated, so resources related to current events (that may be impacting employees and their families) are readily available.
Some employee and family assistance programs also offer support for fitness and health. For example, TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks) offers LIFT sessions such as personalized fitness programs or live fitness supervision and coaching. The digital world has really supported this element of employee benefits, making it easier to access and more comprehensive than ever before.
Good Advice is Key
Is your employee health benefits plan being supported by the digital world? Are you using technology to improve the experience for your employees and for your administrator? If not, it’s time to get digital! Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone or in-person or contact us for a comparison quote.
Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefits packages that work as hard as you do.
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