The days when you received a massive stack of paper to mull over during open enrollment time every year may be coming to an end. Each year, more workplaces are moving towards a more streamlined approach, that allows employees to review selection choices for the year online. There are a number of benefits to both the employee and the business, making it unsurprising that this convenient method of making annual selections continues to gain traction. The growing need to protect personal information and show full compliance with HIPAA and other data protection standards is crucial. When annual elections are completed online, you reduce the chance of an employee accidentally seeing private information and can even reduce the overall cost. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes the significant surge in the cost of employee benefits, which may be the most compelling reason of all for making the shift. We’ll discuss 3 key reasons why employee benefits are moving from paper to a digital format.

1. Year-Over-Year Comparisons

Annual benefits elections can be a bit confusing, and trying to remember what you selected for years past is challenging. When benefits elections are moved online, employees appreciate the ability to look back over their previous year’s usage of benefits to compare and contrast which plan will be most effective for their needs. This year-over-year comparison is especially important in years when benefits change significantly.

2. Employee Benefits Elections Can Be Completed Anywhere

Today’s diverse workforce may spend every day in the office, a few days a week — or none at all! Remote employees and those who work from home at least a portion of the time may find it difficult to get to a traditional employee benefits meeting to receive printouts and ask questions. Instead, an online employee benefits portal provides them with the information that they need to make an informed decision while keeping their personal details at their fingertips. Final benefits decisions can then be made from any computer with internet access. This flexibility reduces the time and attention required by the HR department, while still offering a superior experience to employees. Allowing employees to self-service on an online portal can also reduce the elapsed time needed for benefits enrollment, as employees can find answers to their questions on a website portal any time during the day or night instead of during the work day with paper forms.

going paperless

3. Reduce Compliance Concerns

Regulatory requirements are strict and expanding to become more rigorous each year. When you utilize an online benefits portal for your employee elections, you are able to maintain a clean audit trail. This protects the organization as well as reducing the administrative overhead on your human resources team. Paper-based systems require a lot more manual effort and can lead to a lack of consistency both in the data input and in overall confidentiality. It would be difficult to prove that no one took a peek at someone else’s benefits information when using a paper system — but much easier to provide a measure of integrity with a login-based system.

Protecting your organization and providing the best possible experience for your employees during open enrollment shouldn’t be mutually exclusive goals. With online employee benefits programs, you are improving your overall process and reducing the burden on human resources professionals.

For more open enrollment tips, download our complimentary checklist, 8 Easy Steps to Your Best Open Enrollment Ever

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If you’d like to learn more about how our easy-to-use online benefits portal will help your business be successful, then give our benefits specialists at Innovative Broker Services a call to schedule your benefits review at 916-932-2864 or email