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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Creating a Richer Employee Experience via Innovative Benefits Administration Technologies By ERIC HELMAN

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amuel Taylor Coleridge famously wrote, "Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink.” Like a sailor surrounded by salt water, employees are surrounded by web portals and mobile apps designed to help them better understand and use their employee benefits. The general idea was that these vendor-specific resources would increase employees’ appreciation of benefits and decrease the number of questions and inquiries addressed to human resources. The strategy hasn’t worked. So what innovation can we expect in 2017 to solve the problem? 20 | CALIFORNIA BROKER

SIMPLIFYING THE COMPLEX Insurance providers have invented millions of dollars in self-service portals and mobile applications, but the next wave of innovation will come from benefits administration technology providers. Benefits administration platforms first evolved to bring together disparate benefit products in a unified enrollment experience. The consolidation included plan descriptions, links to provider web sites and helpful information about how to use the benefits. As the number and complexity of these products grew, benefits administration technology providers invested in - CalBrokerMag.com -

sophisticated decision support tools to better equip employees for decisionmaking during open enrollment. These innovations were typical of the second wave of the benefits administration technology. Unfortunately, open enrollment only occurs once a year. When it comes time to use the benefits, employees’ memories of the tools and resources available to them waned (along with the memory of their user IDs and passwords). According to online password manager Dashlane, the average American has over 130 online accounts registered to a single address. The need MAY 2017

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