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article imageHow voluntary benefits outsourcing helps businesses: Interview Special

By Tim Sandle     Oct 21, 2017 in Business
Technology, through the application of voluntary benefits outsourcing, can increase efficiency and accessibility for HR professionals during open enrollment season. To find out more we spoke with Peter Marcia, the CEO of YouDecide.
YouDecide is a voluntary benefits outsourcing firm used by some of the world’s largest companies. YouDecide is modernizing the front and back-end of voluntary benefits outsourcing using innovative technology. YouDecide put foreard the case that their technology can increase efficiency and accessibility for human resources professionals during open enrollment season plus improve employee retention.
To find out more about voluntary benefits outsourcing and developments with the technology, we spoke with Peter Marcia, the CEO of YouDecide.
Peter Marcia CEO | Peter Marcia  CEO of YouDecide
Peter Marcia CEO | Peter Marcia, CEO of YouDecide
Digital Journal: What benefits should employers consider as they gear up to plan for the next open enrollment season?
Peter Marcia: Specific to open enrollment “voluntary offerings,” employers should consider benefit options that strategically complement their core medical plans. Products such as Accident, Critical Illness and Hospital Indemnity Insurances can help reduce out-of-pocket costs for employees. In most cases benefits are paid as a lump sum benefit to the employee allowing them to utilize the payments however he or she sees fit. As employers continue to modify their health plan designs they are increasingly interested in these benefits as a way to balance the negative impact of healthcare inflation.
Legal insurance is also a popular benefit that is most appropriately offered during open enrollment period. Legal insurance programs can assist with both anticipated and unanticipated needs. Having a legal plan is like having a lawyer on retainer and can reduce stress that is associated with legal processes.
DJ: What do you think are the best voluntary benefits programs?
Marcia: Voluntary benefits answer the specific needs of a wide array of employee interests so there is no one “best” benefit. YouDecide clients continue to be interested in offering programs like ID theft protection as well as purchasing programs that promote the financial wellness of their employees by helping them manage expected and unexpected costs.
Employers should understand their employee’s wants and needs and offer programs that appeal to different segments of their population. For example, employers who hire recent college graduates, should recognize that many of these new hires are dealing with record high student loans. Employers who want to appeal to that segment should consider programs that assist their employees with managing that debt. Examples would be student loan refinance programs or even employer subsidized assistance in the form of allocating a certain dollar amount to pay toward their loans.
DJ: Please explain how YouDecide is set up?
Marcia: YouDecide’s approach is unique in that we concentrate exclusively in the design, communication, deployment and administration of voluntary benefit programs for Fortune employers. Our integrated solution provides our clients with a powerful and flexible portal to communicate and deliver voluntary benefits, work life, and consumer discount programs to their employees, retirees and family members. Our technology advantage, coupled with the extensive knowledge of our experienced consulting, communications, consumer, and technology teams complete what we have determined as an exceptional value proposition. Our ability to integrate all voluntary benefits deductions into a single payroll slot offers our clients the flexibility to build a larger program without the need to administer. In addition, we couple our voluntary benefits solution with our consumer discounts site to provides employers with a well-rounded financial wellness program.
DJ: What are the benefits of voluntary benefits outsourcing?
Marcia:A fully-integrated voluntary benefit outsourcing solution allows HR teams to offer its employees an unlimited choice of voluntary benefit providers while significantly reducing human resources, technology, payroll, and administrative costs of managing such programs. It frees the HR team to focus on core benefits such as medical and 401(k) that have a significant company spend. In essence, YouDecide becomes a resource-free extension of our clients’ benefits department.
DJ: Which types of companies does YouDecide work with?
Marcia:YouDecide works with Fortune 1000 companies.
DJ: How have companies used your technology?
Marcia:Companies use our technology to maximize the total value proposition of its voluntary benefits program while at the same time significantly reducing their human resources, technology, and administrative.
Through our Voluntary Benefits Outsourcing (VBO) solution, we are able to manage an entire portfolio of voluntary benefits, work/life services and consumer discount programs for our clients. These programs are all administered through our customizable web-based platform that is fully integrated with our SureDeduct single-slot payroll deduction solution.
In short, our platform allows companies to offer its employees an unlimited choice of voluntary benefit providers while eliminating the administrative burden of managing multiple program vendors and data exchange interfaces.
DJ: What are the key benefits for employees?
Marcia:YouDecide brings tremendous value to our clients’ employees by giving them access to benefits that are not available to the mass market. Benefits under the YouDecide program offer special group-rate pricing and reduced underwriting concessions with the convenience of payroll deduction.
DJ: What are some of the most unique benefits employers should consider offering?
Marcia:Purchasing Programs – Purchasing Programs offered through employers can help employees pay for items they may need immediately through the convenience of payroll deduction, but may not have the funds or credit available for. Purchasing Programs provide an alternative for employees taking 401(k) loans. Employers can direct employers to purchasing plans that will help preserve 401(k) funds for the purpose it was intended -retirement.
Student Loan Programs – Many employees have student loans they are managing. Offering a student loan program can help employees to refinance the loan at a better rate and/or provide an employer contribution towards the loan repayment.
DJ: What other projects are you working on?
Marcia:As we look to the future, we are conducting a complete review of the overall user experience, deploying a mobile first approach to an integrated portal design, individualized content delivery, and refined consumer product selection/delivery portal.
DJ: What other digital disruptions do you foresee coming for businesses?
Marcia:Individualization: AI technology solutions are providing marketing teams with the tools to deliver a truly unique benefit experience to each and every employee. Personalized enrollment support and benefit package designs are clearly on the horizon.
Big Data and Individualized Communications: We are in a transformative period with regard to marketing and communications of employee benefits. We are quickly moving from batch and blast campaigns and enrollment materials to a world of individualized content that is effectively delivered to the channel most accessed by the employee. HR Teams can now more effectively communicate to their employees the value of the specific benefit offerings and the most appropriate program for their needs.
Product Development: As we look to the impact of “digital disruption” in the benefits space, AI will have a profound effect on product development and delivery. We are following the development of several Ai applications that have the potential to positively enhance our ability to deliver insurance, benefits, and consumer services through the employer channel.
FinTech: Blockchain is a fintech that we are following closely as a potential alternative to current payroll deduction methods.
YouDecide is an industry-leading Voluntary Benefits Outsourcing firm that manages employer and large organization group voluntary benefits, together with work/life programs, consumer products and financial services.
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