4 Tips for Employee Benefits Compliance

Compliance is a word that is at the tip of every CHROs tongue, especially with the tight regulations around consumer data privacy and personally identifiable information. Protecting your business as well as your employees is a balancing act, as you need to restrict access to information while still providing people throughout your organization with enough data to make solid decisions about their health and finances. Staying on the right side of the law requires a great deal of diligence and solid procedures that you can leverage during your employee benefits enrollment process and throughout the year. Read on to understand the benefits of staying compliant and some tips that will help you stay on solid footing with government compliance regulations.

Importance of Compliance for Your Organization

We talk a great deal about compliance, but the concept itself may mean different things in the business world. In some organizations, compliance can be simpler depending on the size of the business while others have an extreme level of complexity to handle. First and foremost, compliance is about understanding the regulations that pertain to your unique business situation and how to adequately apply them and then measure your effectiveness throughout the employee benefits process. Keeping track of decisions and information around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires additional diligence, both by CHROs and by human resources staff. The potential risks of non-compliance are steep: with organizations facing thousands of dollars in fines per individual penalty. At the same time, it’s crucial that your employees have access to previous elective decisions so they can make the best decisions for the financial well-being and health of their families.

Tips for Staying Compliant

Compliance starts with having access to the latest information about healthcare and financial resources, but it can be a challenge to maintain this level of awareness with all of the changes that are happening it the marketplace. These tips will help you stay compliant throughout the year.

1. Monitor Changes in Current Laws

Changes to laws happen on a regular basis, but how can you tell which ones will impact your organization? If you’re not able to personally review all of the changes, be sure someone on your team is monitoring the news and staying in touch with colleagues so you can review impact in a timely manner.

2. Include All Required Notices During Annual Enrollment

Being under-informed during annual enrollment can be detrimental to your staff members, and there are certain notices that you are required by law to include as a part of your annual employee benefits program. They include:

  • SPD (Summary Plan Description)
  • SBC (Summary of Benefits and Coverage)
  • CHIPRA Notice
  • HIPAA Special Enrollment Rights Notice and Privacy Notice
  • Summary of Material Modifications (SMM)
  • COBRA
  • Availability of Health Insurance Marketplace

Each of these options helps employees fully understand the benefits that the organization is offering for their needs.

 

 

3. Mentor Employees on Privacy Rights

In years past, it wasn’t unheard-of for human resources professionals to help an employee dig into their benefits and apply personal knowledge to their interpretation of the options. Today’s HR professionals are slightly more limited, providing for enhanced privacy for each of your staff members. The privacy should be an ongoing topic of conversation for human resources staff members, especially any that are short-term hires to help support a specific project or need.

4. Use Digital Tools to Limit Access to Sensitive Information

Fortunately, there are digital tools available that will help limit access to sensitive information by allowing employees to self-service many of their needs. Your employee benefits software should be intuitive and easy for employees of all ages to understand. It’s also crucial that your benefits provider offers access to trained and responsive support staff who are able to help individuals complete their enrollment elections each year. This helps protect both employees and your human resources department from having excessive access to sensitive information.

 

 

Staying compliant begins with having the right tools for your human resources team to utilize as they provide updated information and employee benefits options to your staff members. When you are ready to revitalize your benefits program and ensure that your business stays compliant with current regulations, download our complimentary guide entitled The Healthcare Glossary: Your Definitive Guide to Healthcare TerminologyThe team at ESIS Inc. stands ready to help provide best-in-class service for your staff, protecting their safety and well-being at all times. Contact us today to request more information.