Plan Administration and Employee Assistance
Onboarding & Open Enrollment
So once you’ve pick the best plan at the best price, it seems that the work has just begun. Will you use paper applications the old-fashioned way? Should you have meetings in person or on the web? And how will you handle new employees or those who miss the meetings or just weren’t paying attention?
Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the Onboarding and Open Enrollment process from start to finish.
Blue Ocean offers you and your employees a benefits administration (“ben admin”) portal at no cost that competes with the sites your biggest competitors use.
If allowed by the carrier you choose, we can set up EDI feeds so that employees don’t have to fill out paper applications and you don’t have to send the paper to us or the carrier. You can see at a glance your entire group – who is finished enrolling, who is hung up and who hasn’t even started.
Our system can, depending on the payroll system you use, download the payroll deductions straight to your payroll company or into an easy to upload excel file.
This means your employees can enroll and change their plans 24 hours a day and without your help or hand-holding.
Other features of our portal include live billing and reporting that helps you stay compliant.
Of course, if you prefer or need to do it the old-fashioned way, we are flexible. We offer all our clients the option of sending all paper applications to us via a dedicated email address.
We will review the submission and follow up with each carrier to make sure your employees are enrolled in the plans they selected. This allows you to concentrate on other issues rather than following up to make sure the carriers received the application and actually enrolled your folks onto the right plan!
Once a year your employees need to make some decisions. To be honest, we find that most employees don’t remember much about their benefits from year to year unless they use it a lot.
So what is the best way to communicate the benefits of the plan and the changes, if any, that they need to be aware of to make the best decision for themselves and their families?
The answer is unique to you and your business, but no matter the answer we will customize a meeting or multiple meetings to make sure your employees feel good about the offerings and have the information and material needed to make a decision.
Need a PowerPoint? No problem. Want us to run the meeting or get a carrier representative to your site? We’ll get it done. And don’t worry about tricky questions your employees might have.
While we don’t know EVERY answer, collectively we’ve attended thousands of open enrollment meetings and know what employees want to know and the best way to present it.
A smooth Open Enrollment sets off the year on the right course.
Let us be your guide.
Employee Education & Communication
One of our biggest talking points about employee benefits is that it is very much about perception as much as reality.
An employee who knows what to expect, and is educated on how plans work, may not be happy about putting out a few thousand dollars for a surgery. However, their knowledge and expectations allows them to plan ahead and chart a course of action that gets them the best results at the lowest out-of-pocket cost.
Nothing is more frustrating for us as benefits professionals than, when speaking with an employee, finding out they could have saved thousands of dollars if only they had they done something differently. It could be something as mundane as checking in advance to be sure the surgery center they showed up to at 6:00 AM was actually in-network.
Sounds obvious to some, but many people just freeze up when it comes to insurance in general - and employee benefits in particular.
We offer a number of ways to address precisely these kinds of issues.
For example we provide monthly webinars for specific clients. Recent webinar topics have included information on dental rollover coverage, global business travel, and health savings accounts (HSAs). Simply choose the topics most relevant for your company, and together we will develop informative and interesting webinars that will educate your team and potentially save them thousands.
We also publish newsletters, wellness articles, benefit tips that you can send to your employees or post internally.
We are also always willing to chat with a single employee one-on-one, to make sure they understand the right steps to take before a big claim hits the system.
The bottom line is that we believe communicating your plan’s benefits and even a few pitfalls (since almost every plan has a few) is critical to the success of your plan.
Remember, while there are rules about offering a plan if you have more than 50 employees, you could probably just pay the fine and spend less money (we can even help you figure that out!). Most clients don’t do that, because they want to take care of their employees.
If your employees don’t understand or even know about the plan’s advantages, you are throwing that money away.
We want to help you get the greatest possible benefit from your Employee benefit plans. Providing clear communications to your employees that educate and enlighten are the easiest ways to do that.
The Blue Line
When employees need help with a claim or enrollment issue, most employers don’t see much upside in getting involved.
Either it takes a ton of time or the employer runs the risk of giving inaccurate or incomplete information because they relied on the 800 number the carrier gives out.
That’s why we have the blue line.
As an employer or HR department, we encourage you to give your employees our Blue Line Handout so that they can bypass you and come straight to us.
We won’t get you involved or even tell you about the call unless your employee wants us to, because that way employees can get what they need without the fear that “management” might know something personal.And of course, you can’t be accused of using PHI (private Health Information) if you don’t even have it.
So allowing your employees to call our blue line is a great way to make your benefit plan more efficient and effective while taking some administrative burden off of you.
THE BLUE LINE
Call 1-866-296-BLUE (2583), PRESS 1