Top considerations when evaluating benefits administration for multi-employer arrangements

Multi-employer arrangements come in many different forms. Whether you are an association health plan, trust, consortium, coalition, third-party administrator, professional employer organization, or carrier – you have unique needs when it comes to benefits administration.

These organizations face unique challenges in managing benefits for multiple employers and their respective members. Because of these unique setups, selecting the right benefits administration partner is crucial to streamline operations and creating efficiencies.

Many benefits administration platforms look and feel the same, but very few are set up to support the complexities associated with multi-employer arrangements.

Truly understanding your specific challenges will aid you in identifying the best-fit solution for your organization.

Over the past 30 years supporting over 80 multi-employer arrangements, Vimly has seen a common theme across many of the top considerations multi-employer arrangements want to address during their evaluation process.

These tips should help you understand your needs and help you choose the right partner.

Selecting the right partner will allow you to streamline processes and help provide a better experience for your organization, your member employers, employees, and brokers, which will help with retention and growth.

After reading through these considerations, contact us to learn how we are partnering with other multi-employer groups like you to manage benefits administration efficiently.

Clearly defining your organization's objectives and scope of services is vital when evaluating a benefits administration partner.

Ask yourself, what are the specific pain points and challenges we are trying to solve? Whether creating efficiencies gaining time and resources, or streamlining workflows associated with plan management, member eligibility, enrollment, consolidated billing, or financial reporting, it’s critical to define objectives first.

Many benefits administration providers have clients in different markets. What are their specialties and expertise? Are they a single-employer solution or truly built to support an aggregated business model?

Focus on vendor partners with a proven track record of working with multi-employer arrangements who understand and support your unique and specific needs.

Consider factors such as experience, scalability, pooled group administration capabilities, integration flexibility, and the ability to handle complex billing scenarios.

Evaluating a partner's technical expertise is crucial to ensure seamless operations for your organization.

Whether consuming inbound EDI from external HRIS platforms and other trading partners, sending outbound EDI to downstream carriers and vendors, or even offering API options, consider their integration capabilities and reporting tools to streamline processes and workflows.

Benefits billing and reconciliation for multi-employer groups are complex.

How are you handling billing and payment administration today? How much time and resources are required to ensure accurate and efficient processing?

Would a platform able to deliver a single consolidated invoice inclusive of all premiums across all plans, broker commissions, and other administrative fees, with real-time reconciliation and abilities to disburse payments to all stakeholders seamlessly create efficiencies?

Outline your specific requirements for consolidated billing, including invoicing, payment reconciliation, disbursement, and reporting needs. This information will guide benefits administration providers to deliver tailored responses that address your organization's unique complexities.

Data security and compliance are paramount in benefits administration.

How does each provider handle data encryption methods, access controls, disaster recovery plans, and compliance with data protection regulations such as HIPAA and relevant state privacy laws?

Evaluate their ability to securely handle sensitive employee and employer data and have been certified through industry standards, like HITRUST® certification.

Smooth implementation and onboarding, user training, and ongoing support are critical factors in selecting a benefits administration partner. Zero disruption is paramount.

Evaluate their implementation process and transition expertise with multi-employer arrangements, including project management, data migration, and training resources tailored to your specific needs.

Inquire about their ongoing technical and service support, system enhancements, code releases, and responsiveness to inquiries or issues. A reliable support structure ensures efficient operations and minimizes disruptions.