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Health insurance administration can be a lot of work for small business owners, the majority of whom manage company-wide benefits themselves, without the luxury of an in- house expert or team. Add the physical distance of working virtually, health and psychological hurdles, and economic stress imposed by COVID-19, and health insurance management in 2020 involves more high-stakes decisions, emails, and juggling than ever before. At this unprecedented moment in history, your business needs your time and attention in a million other places.

What’s the best way to handle health benefits administration for your team now that they are no longer under one roof? How can you confidently help employees navigate health and health adjacent circumstances without neglecting other important areas of your business?

Here are a few tips for managing health benefits – and for making sure your team is truly taken care of – even while everyone is working from home:

Use video conferencing to your advantage

Videoconferencing was teetering on widespread adoption before COVID-19 hit and has become downright mainstream in the months since. Need to tell your team about updates or discuss a change to their policy? Connect one-on-one with an employee who has questions about their coverage plan? Videoconferencing can humanize healthcare conversations and make them more efficient, with the added benefit of keeping you connected to the people your benefits benefit.

Of course, videoconferencing comes with its challenges. Especially when discussing health and health benefits virtually, be sure to prioritize privacy, security, and overall etiquette. Conducting video meetings with employees means understanding the medium’s do’s and dont’s. Familiarize yourself with standards and maximize your platform’s security settings.

Consider HR software

If you’re not using it already, this is a good time to consider employee benefits administration software. Health benefit software ensures compliance with ever-changing government regulation, freeing up your time and protecting you against fallout from non- compliance (including fines). Top software options take many other practical burdens off of business owners’ plates, too, offering portals where employees can view, manage, and update policies on their own.

One drawback to HR software: New options are being developed constantly, making the buying process a daunting task in and of itself. Do your homework and ask yourself a few critical questions to ensure the right fit for your business – at the right price.

Outsource benefits administration

If you don’t have the time to successfully manage all the aspects of health benefits or learn new HR software, then outsourcing this to an experienced team may be your answer. Any small business owner will tell you: It’s worth every penny.

The topic of business owners’ time is a loaded one, but boils down to this: When leadership isn’t focused on core business and growth, the business pays for it in opportunity costs. The sum total of opportunity costs can never be calculated but can become a business’s downfall.

The risk of opportunity costs drops dramatically when small businesses outsource benefits administration. So do non-compliance risks and other HR-specific tasks and challenges better suited for HR experts. No more juggling software. No more videoconferencing. No more worry. Outsourced expertise like that offered by experienced professionals lets business owners focus squarely on business, which is more essential today than ever before. Better yet, the cost of outsourcing health benefits management is less than what you’d spend for an in-house HR department, or even one qualified professional.

Want to learn more about outsourced benefits administration? Call Health & Benefits Partner at 215-240-1263 to learn how our services can free you up to focus on pressing business matters, all while making sure your employees have access to reliable and informed health insurance resources.