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What is Carrier Connectivity In EDI And How It Can Improve Benefits Administration?

Improve Benefits Administration

Establishing an EDI connection with your trading partners or vendors means securing and automating employee enrollment information when sharing.

EDI solution implementation is just the first step towards automating the process of sending enrollment data manually. Companies with Electronic Data Interchange can improve their productivity and efficiency while providing satisfaction to their employees.

The survey made in 2017 showed the cost incurred in the U.S for loss of productivity was near about $2.9 trillion.

The yesteryear stories of IT consultation services striving to develop softwares for the convenience, offering different threads of the employee management, such as benefits programs, was an exorbitant undertaking. Today’s modern solutions are advanced, technology-integrated, and affordable, allowing businesses to link with other providers and software systems seamlessly.

Introducing Carrier Connectivity Solution

The process of transmitting data begins with the data provided by the employee in the HRIS, which is then automatically communicated to the benefits enrollment solution to convert into a secure envelope for securely transferring it to the connected insurance carrier network. This entire process, when done manually, takes days to complete. Additionally, changes in the data may demand more days from the regular time taken to complete the process.

Carrier connectivity solution is used by the companies to automate the data flow of EDI 834 or benefits enrollment to insurance carriers. Companies can also automate the changes requisite in the HR system, such as open enrollment, eligibility changes, or life events.

In EDI, carrier connectivity reduces the time consumed to transfer the data. The days and weeks duration can be converted into a few hours.

Introducing carrier connectivity allows you to share extremely sensitive data with any size group extremely fast. The solution also monitors every ongoing communication, so you are always aware of the two and fro of the data, which delivers a seamless and worry-free experience.

After the pandemic, companies have been dealing with other challenges, which are working remotely. Additionally, when offices were allowed to open with limited occupancies, managing employee data became even tougher as a few were still working remotely.

Whether small or big firm, managing enrollment data and streamlining with life-changing events is always a challenge. Especially when the data is medical data, where healthcare organizations have multiple categories, such as medical, dental, diable, life, & many more to manage. Here, you cannot afford to make mistakes.

Companies favor carrier connection more because of its ability to reduce resource, time, and manual management of the employee benefit programs but the only challenge is with the implementation time.

Companies with limited staff, say 100 or so employees, are not given access to the technology, such as the EDI by individual carriers. Regardless, setting automated carrier connections for large sizes also takes several months.

Automating Carrier Connections

Transfering EDI files typically involves faxing the paper enrollment forms to the carrier or manually adding the data to the carrier’s website.

Did you know the company with around 1,000 employees spends around half of the year manually managing carriers, driving $66K in liability exposure?

Carriers typically accept EDI feeds from companies with more than 100 employees, as aforementioned. So, here small businesses are unfortunately left to continue using the paper-based forms.

To eliminate this paperwork or lengthy procedure to access the carriers, automating carrier connections has become imperative than ever before. There are many EDI managed providers who offer carrier connectivity solutions to eliminate the possible cons associated with EDI.

Automating carrier connectivity ensures insurance carriers can quickly and accurately get relevant data and updates without the need for manual or redundant processes.

The automated connectivity securely transfers the employee enrollment data using digitized enrollment forms of EDI.

Automated Carrier Connectivity has multiple features to engage in a quick and easy business.

Versatility & Flexibility – With an automated connectivity solution, any company size, whether big or small, can benefit from it.

Support All Benefits – Automated carrier connectivity can connect for any kind of benefit, be it for dental enrollment, eye, or any other type of enrollment.

Expansive Carrier Network – With Automated connectivity, seamlessly connect with any insurance carrier anywhere and anytime.

Gain Control – Ensure complete transparency of benefits plans and understanding of the benefits enrollment being exported.

Quick Setup – The best part about integrating automated carrier connectivity is that it can be set up in 2-4 weeks instead of waiting for several weeks or months to set up a digital enrollment form.

In-depth Tools – This automated system ensures users completely review files, previously sent data while comparing them for any faults.

Types of Connectivity

401K – The necessary ongoing data and contributions are securely delivered to the 401 providers. 401 K is an administrating employer-sponsored plan which includes the assets and plans participants’ information. It also includes the investment consultation and asset diversification & investment strategy ensuring utmost security.

Savings Account – Any employee part of the health plan is eligible to have an account set to help pay for eligible health care expenses, including HRA offerings. These accounts are connected with the administrators and banks to receive enrollment and contribution data to retrieve requisite benefits through any – FSA, HRA, PRA, and HSA.

Insurance – The automated carrier connectivity leverages employers to have numerous health insurance for which they can seamlessly connect to various insurance carriers related to health, life, short-term, disability, dental, long-term disability, and other supplement insurance.

Benefits of Having Carrier Connectivity Solution

Every carrier has its own ways to manage insurance and benefits enrollment, so integrating automated carrier connectivity eliminates the need for keeping track of different carriers and their changing forms and systems.

These are the 5 ways carrier connectivity can transform the activities of the benefits administration.

Streamlined Open Enrollment

One of the most complex and time-consuming tasks not just for employers but also for the insurance providers as well. During open enrollment, employees make changes and selection to the benefits plans. This also means that employers have to pay equal attention to the elections and changes in carrier billing.

Here, an automated carrier connectivity solution enables the companies to increase the efficiency of the open enrollment process allowing the companies for open enrollment changes without the need for manual intervention. The data provided by the employee is directly communicated to the HRIS or benefits enrollment changes. This way companies will have more time to devote to supporting employees and navigate them for the open enrollment process better.

Improves Carrier Communication

Carrier connectivity solutions, when automated, allow you to deliver benefit enrollment data and qualifying event changes to the insurance carrier without the need for intervention. Instead of a manual process, the automated process of delivering eliminates the need to fill out the forms separately, send emails, or upload documents to carrier sites.

Depending on the type of organization and duration of implementation, can set carrier benefit feeds using API or EDI or customized digital smart forms for medical, dental, vision, life, disability benefits, and more.

Enhances Benefits Reporting

A reliable reporting feature in your system has a clearer picture of benefits and employee changes year-round. Automated carrier connectivity offers an intuitive and powerful customized dashboard and reporting facilities to take a clear view of changes, termination, and addition of data of all levels of employee. With automated carrier connectivity, companies can do the following;

  • Analyze and track historical trends.
  • Monitor the way employees are leveraging the benefits you provide.
  • Review and compare previous carrier communications.

Enhanced Change Tracking

Saying goodbyes to the paper-based manual procedures is what any company can have as their first step towards productivity and success.

The automated carrier connectivity can monitor everyday transmission for you to stay updated. The automated system can help you configure solutions to notify every time there is a change or edit in the employee benefits data. You can also monitor the type of data communicated to the carriers when there is any need for attention over any data.

Faster Changes

Today’s modern carrier connectivity eliminates the delay that was once faced by the companies, due to the manual process for transferring the data to the insurance carriers. Now, with the advancing API or smart forms, companies can seamlessly share the data with the carriers and quickly as possible.

Implementing automated carrier connectivity takes less time than the traditional carrier connection.

The process is much more efficient and takes just a few weeks, unlike the conventional one, which took months to integrate and time to develop feeds to begin and automate the entire process of sending changes and updates of employee benefits data.

Concerns About Carrier Connectivity

Not every company has an advanced software solution as EDI, hence there might be chances where you have to send files to the carrier who does not accept EDI files. Then how will you communicate the data?

The best way to communicate the data is using digital  Smart forms as a solution. These solutions have forms populated to send to the carrier. Smart forms eradicate the need for manually employing the data or filling the forms and updating them on the carrier’s website.

Another question most commonly asked is whether to choose smart form instead of EDI!

Typically, employers with more than 100 employees can set up EDI. So, an organization with a lesser number of employees is free will not feel deprived of technology. They can seamlessly use Smart Forms instead of EDI. They can seamlessly automate the solution of adding and updating the employee benefit enrollment data and send it to the insurance carrier.

So, when the company progresses, can they switch to EDI for better accuracy and less trouble?

Yes! As the company progresses and accelerates the staff to more than 100, the organization can move to EDI connection. Having the right and appropriate partner can help you with quick EDI implementation to send data and for carriers to receive the data seamlessly and in no time.

In order to become accurate and have hands-on experience with sending data files to a carrier, you can confirm the same with your insurance carriers through emails. For successful delivery of each file, you can review the summary of data within each file in your electronic data interchange.

With a myriad of comparison tools, you can also compare multiple files and workflows and alert your team for any changes required or notify you when any change has been made or data communicated with the carriers.

To Conclude –

Carrier connectivity is a significant add-on for any company using EDI or involved in human capital management solutions. The automated process reduces the convoluted manual process to seamlessly communicate with more than hundreds of carriers.

Small-size companies can also take leverage of this lucrative solution through smart form solutions to securely deliver enrollments and benefits data for open enrollments, terminations, new enrollments, and many more. By integrating carrier connectivity solutions, companies can visibly reduce unnecessary costs and reduce the entry or data risks and errors while offering long-term support to enhance productivity.

Author’s Bio: Scarlett is a technical content writer and is associated with A3logics for over a couple of years. She has a keen interest in IT professional services and is often found hustling for her upcoming projects. She is often found discussing the latest developments with the technical team. When not working on any of her writing projects, she is either reading any of the Agatha Christie mysteries or busy gardening.

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