While it may be hard to believe, there are still businesses that have not embraced the digital world. They prefer to continue using old school methods for managing everything from customer lists to invoicing and payments. Even an industry as complex as employee benefits still has its old-school holdouts. Paper enrollment remains one of their mainstays.
Every year, somewhere around November, insurance brokers start working with employers to get their workers enrolled in health insurance benefits. This brief period of time is referred to as ‘open enrollment’. And while more and more brokers have gone digital, there are still some who rely on paper forms distributed by employers and sent to HR upon completion.
BenefitMall is a Dallas-based general agency that encourages its brokers still doing things the old way to move into the digital realm. The company even offers an all-in-one digital platform that facilitates everything from quoting new policies to managing the annual open enrollment period.
- Digital Is More Efficient
Among the many reasons BenefitMall encourages brokers to go digital is the fact that it is more efficient. It should be obvious, yet the efficiency that digital technology brings to the table is often lost on small business owners still stuck in old-school ways.
It turns out that many benefits brokers operate sole proprietorships or run small businesses with just a few employees. They are reluctant to go digital because paper is all they have ever known. And yet, just transitioning to digital open enrollment would make them so much more efficient.
- Digital Increases Accuracy
Efficiency is just the start of the many benefits of digital enrollment. For example, digital enrollment also improves accuracy. How so? By reducing the number of times employer and employee information has to be collected and submitted.
If an employee has to fill out three separate forms to enroll in health insurance benefits, that is three opportunities to make mistakes. Multiply that by 10 years of employment and the likelihood of information being incorrect at some point is pretty high.
On the other hand, a digital system allows employees to enter their information just once. From there, making choices and modifying coverage is a matter of ticking boxes and clicking buttons. Personal and employment information is populated across the entire system without any additional effort. So as long as it is correct the first time, it will stay that way.
- Employees Expect It
If a broker will not transition to digital enrollment for their own sake, they should at least do it for their clients’ employees. In this day and age, digital is expected. Employees do not expect to have to sit down at the kitchen table and fill out a bunch of paper forms. Instead, they expect to log on to a cloud platform via their phones or computers, completing online forms and submitting them in one session.
These days, it is not unusual for brokers to offer employers digital benefits management environments complete with individual employee accounts. Employees can log on to their accounts to check up on their benefits and make any necessary changes. HR is left completely out of the equation unless there is a problem. Employees love this arrangement; HR loves this arrangement; employers love this arrangement.
Paper enrollment was a necessity prior to the digital age. It may have even been a necessity before cloud computing matured. But today, paper enrollment is a relic of the past. Brokers have every reason to set it aside and transition to digital enrollment instead. Going digital makes perfect sense in a world that is quickly eliminating paper.