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Employers: Save Your Sanity with Paperless HSA Online Management

Curt Schaefer
Aug 19, 2019 12:15:00 PM

As an employer, you’ve got a lot on your plate. So, when it comes to benefit administration of your HSA program, you’re looking for streamlined solutions—not headaches. In a perfect world, you’d find an administrator who offers reduced costs and better data control and management, resulting in less staff time and resources required to administer your HSA plan.

Although we all know too well that our world isn’t perfect, your HSA plan benefit administration could be. That’s where Bend comes in.

Let’s start by tackling three important questions that should be asked when choosing an HSA program with an electronic-only enrollment and implementation process.

What are the advantages of paperless administration?

The advantages of paperless HSA program administration are many. Because let’s face it—paper forms have always been a less-than-ideal, labor-intensive enrollment method.

How many times has your HR staff tried to enter information manually from paper forms, only to find that the form is incomplete or the data provided is illegible, incorrect or perhaps even missing completely? From there, you know the drill. Your staff then has to waste time and resources literally and figuratively chasing the paper trail, contacting each employee on an individual basis and resolving the issues one by one. Not ideal for you, your employees or your bottom line.

Most often, traditional paper enrollment forms were born out of necessity. Even just a few years ago, many companies avoided using online benefits enrollment systems due to their overwhelming cost, complexity and security concerns.

But online benefits enrollment and management systems—including HSA systems—have quickly evolved. And today, the combination of a tech-savvy workforce and competitive system pricing has opened the door for companies of any size or scope to be able to effectively integrate a paperless system into their workflow and budget. And the numbers don’t lie. Nearly 75% of U.S. companies now utilize online-based benefits enrollment systems.

So, circling back to the question at hand—what are the specific advantages of paperless HSA program administration with Bend HSA?

The first advantage is actually a combination of two mutually exclusive benefits—cost savings AND time savings.

On the employer side, implementation of Bend HSA is simple, completely online and takes on average only 30 minutes from start to finish.

On the employee side, enrollment is equally as simple and completely online, eliminating any need to chase paper forms. With Bend HSA, employee enrollment isn’t just electronic—it’s automated. All you need to do is upload your employee information into the Bend HSA system. From there, we automatically send your employees emails to enroll.

These efficiencies save you time and money and lead the path to the next advantage of going paperless—administrative relief, plus ease of use and overall sustainability.

With Bend HSA’s unique automation process, we’re able to monitor your employees’ enrollments and provide customized messaging to nudge your employees along through the process, utilizing positive reinforcement and easy-to-follow instructions. Along with saving you time and money (as noted above), your HR team gets a huge assist with an otherwise burdensome administration process. That means no more HR staff time manually uploading information, chasing paper forms, printing more paper forms and other materials, dealing with physical enrollment packets and more. And by reducing the chance of errors and omissions commonly found on paper forms, Bend’s paperless enrollment process frees up your HR staff’s time while providing them with an easy-to-use, sustainable platform for ongoing HSA plan administration.

The final advantage of going paperless could be the most important to your bottom line—employee wellness.

While time and cost savings are great, and while providing your existing staff with the tools they need to best do their jobs is critical, the concept of employee wellness spans all the way from recruitment to long-term retention.

With the workforce shifting from one generation to the next, technology continues to play an increasingly important role in acquiring and maintaining quality workforce talent. Adoption of a technology-based platform like Bend HSA will only serve to further benefit employers who are willing to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to their company’s operations.

How will employees react to paperless enrollment?

Change can be hard. But positive change that makes your employees’ lives easier is an easy sell. So by and large, you can expect quick buy-in to your paperless system. Because let’s face it—the biggest and fastest growing segment of the workforce wants to streamline their lives with their smartphones and other devices.

Apps, social media, online interaction and support—these are all familiar tools and modes of communication for today’s employees, regardless of age. So, bringing these capabilities to the forefront of your HSA plan will only help to engage them in the process.

Just look at the numbers. 96% of our nation’s population has a cell phone, and 81% of those phones are smartphones. Technology has enveloped most of how our day-to-day life operates. Banking, shopping, driving, dining and more—technology plays a critical role in how we things get done.

Also, many employees, particularly Millennials, want to go paperless. According to a survey, Millennials believe that documents in digital formats are: 

  1. More environmentally friendly (92%) 
  2. More up-to-date (91%) 
  3. Easier to keep track of (76%).*

 

The survey also revealed that 65% of Millennials are very concerned about paper consumption's impact on the environment; 

Also, 67% are making an effort to reduce paper consumption while 31% of Millennials are striving to be paperless, the survey says.

The answer is clear—transitioning from paper to electronic HSA enrollment not only makes fiscal sense, but it also is simply the standard for what your employees expect from you as an employer. Anything less will be considered antiquated and behind the times.

* Source: http://printinthemix.com/research/show/88

How will employer administration look and function without paper forms?

On average, employers using a paper enrollment system experience a 3% to 5% enrollment failure rate due to paperwork processing errors. For those who’ve gone paperless, that failure rate drops to less than 1%.

Electronic-only platforms like Bend HSA help you as the employer by taking a portion of the administrative work and simply automating it so you don’t have to worry about it. All ongoing administration is done through one streamlined employer system, and that system makes it easy for your staff to manage your HSA program while eliminating any unnecessary work.

But at Bend, we don’t just provide a run-of-the-mill paperless HSA platform. We go a step further by utilizing automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

We help reduce the headache of managing your HSA program through automation. And with our integration into payroll, even frequent contribution adjustments and payroll updates are automated so you don’t have any additional workload to manage, freeing up time for your HR and payroll staff to focus on other duties.

And through cutting-edge AI and machine learning, we support and engage your employees at a deeper level by recognizing patterns and suggesting optimizations. This educates your employees to take control of their financial health, and virtually eliminates any need for your HR and payroll staff to intervene.

Say Goodbye to Paper Forms, and Say Hello to Bend HSA’s Program Benefits at a Glance

Bend’s, tech-inspired HSA administrators designed a dashboard that gives you a quick view into your unique HSA program. Critical data is presented in a quick-to-review format and often eliminates the need to print hard copies of these reports. Another tree saved!

With Bend HSA, you get at-a-glance access to data including:

  •  Tax savings to date; upcoming tasks
  •  Your employer contributions to date and planned
  •  Your employees’ contributions to date and planned
  •  Employees’ contribution growth and their savings growth
  •  Other important information

 

Helping You Help Your Employees

With Bend HSA’s proactive approach, you’ll engage employees ranging from non-funders to active HSA participants and help keep accounts from lying dormant. When there’s a consistent effort from your HSA platform to educate and assist your employees on how to maximize their savings, they’re better positioned to reap the benefits of saving for their health-related costs long-term.

Consider these three characteristics of a powerful HSA platform to provide your employees with a financial savings security blanket and short-term tax savings while also helping make healthcare costs more affordable.

  1. Leverages technology– Most HSA accounts are simply an online deposit account designed for debit transactions. However, an HSA account with robust technological capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, is able to understand and anticipate an employee’s unique spending habits and situations and then make actionable recommendations to educate them on how to maximize their HSA funds. Artificial intelligence can satisfy the need for ongoing education for the majority of employees who don’t understand how to maximize their tax savings through their HSA.
  2. Simplifies administration and HSA enrollment– Too often, employers don’t receive adequate support from HSA providers in administering the accounts to their employees. An HSA provider that automates payroll management and simplifies both the administration and implementation of the accounts, as well as the enrollment of employees, will make for a more satisfying experience and preparation for the inevitable increases in out-of-pocket healthcare costs as retirement approaches.
  3. Doesn’t let accountholders get complacent– The reactive nature of HSAs only hurts employees in the long run by allowing them to get complacent in how they either contribute to their HSA or let it sit inactive. Proactive HSAs like Bend HSA that actively engage your employees with timely nudges, such as reminders to contribute, as well as document eligible expenses for future reimbursement, help ensure each employee is on a journey to optimizing their contributions and maximizing their savings. Current available technology not only enhances savings opportunities, but also maximizes the capturing of eligible expenses and will ensure your employees take full advantage of the triple tax savings that only an HSA can provide. And as covered above, this same technology also automates payroll management and ongoing administration of HSA-related tasks.

 

Don’t Wait Another Day—Let Bend Give You Back Your Time While Saving on Resources

Open enrollment season is right around the corner. Get a jump and contact us today to request a demo and learn more about all our innovative Bend HSA platform has to offer. Simply fill out our simple online request form—it’ll only take a minute of your time, and is your first step to better HSA administration for you and your employees.

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