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Don't Let Your System Dictate Your Voluntary Benefits Administration

by Jessica Zeiser on January 11, 2018

Systems that are used to manage the benefit, billing, and payment information for insureds are highly customized to the companies they serve. This creates powerful efficiency to systematize billing and plan management. However, the down side is that these systems aren't always nimble enough to handle cases for which they weren't designed. How can  product providers furnish Best-In-Class solutions to their clients and distribution partners without undertaking a huge IT expenditure?

In this article we address the concerns of insurance carriers, their distribution partners, their clients, as well as companies that offer non-insurance products to employer groups. In the interest of simplicity, we’ll refer to this gang as product providers.

Problem: Rigid Billing Systems

Voluntary benefits administration is hard to do correctly. That's why the billing systems used by product providers involve rigorous security and multiple fail-safes. However, it’s hard for them  to solve for scale across all employers, regardless of size and product variability. Likewise, their current systems may not be optimized to manage payroll deduction for premiums. Without the flexibility to handle a variety of billing methods and modes with real-time roster management, the system can limit the number of clients they can successfully serve.

For the operational team leader, this presents a dilemma: He or she might hesitate to seize the business opportunity of taking on a new case if it doesn't "fit" into the billing system that exists. That person might consider two options: A) Take the business and customize their billing system--and take a significant hit in operational cost to do so; B) Reject the business and lose out on a new market opportunity. In both scenarios, the "tail wags the dog," because the decision isn't solely about profitability. Instead, the decision is largely dictated by how the billing system is configured.

Outsourcing billing can open a product provider’s market to allow list billing for employers they currently can't support.

Solution: Outsourced List Billing

With Selman & Company as your insurance administrator, your market opportunities won’t be limited by the billing system you have in place. Outsourcing can solve for disparate systems that connect a variety of products,  provide payroll deduction management, open a variety of billing methods and modes, reduce errors and refunds, and fine-tune the process to each client, regardless of size. This expands the product provider’s available market to allow billing for types of companies they currently can't support, and provides more options and better service to the clients they currently have. There are three major benefits of pursuing this type of service.

Benefit #1: Offer Best-In-Class Solutions for Clients

The most successful product providers seek to develop a portfolio of well-structured products that balances what's best for the employee group members and ease of deployment. Brokers want to pick the best carriers to partner with, but they don't want the limitations that come with employer size and product availability. By outsourcing billing and other aspects of administration, the product provider’s distribution partners can mix and match products. They’ll appreciate that flexibility and keep coming back for more.

Benefit #2: Keep Costs Low

Outsourcing as a concept sounds great, but can you afford it? Operational teams that leverage an outsourcing partner for employer benefits administration eliminate these costs:

  • Cost of re-tooling of IT systems to accommodate new cases
  • Time and expense of system maintenance and upkeep
  • Time and expense of routine audits
  • Time spent reconciling bills: With one payroll deduction, the process of reconciliation is much faster

In our experience, the costs savings justify the relationship. Contact us, and we can run the numbers for you.

Benefit #3: Better Commissions

Product providers who outsource can reach the broader market of all available employers—from groups with two employees or those with more than 20,000. With multiple billing options, including list bill, self-bill, and direct-to-individual billing, they can offer a wider spectrum of products to meet any employer’s needs. This creates more opportunity for sales teams by letting them sell any product, from true group insurance to voluntary insurance. It also lets them customize their proposals to meet a variety of product needs such as billing in arrears, in advance, etc.  

If you're ready to stop letting your systems limit your business--and start taking advantage of your opportunities--contact us today.

Let's Talk

Topics: Administration