It is a fact – none of us enjoys thinking of health benefits coverage until the moment comes to do so, but handling those in time can solve many unpredictable problems. Instead of paying hospitals and expensive treatments, we should make a detailed benefits plan and utilize what we gathered at stake by then, an obligation many of us will again evade, describing it as ‘tricky’ or ‘too complex to handle on one’s own’. Luckily enough, modern technology expanded its reach enough for us to leverage its power in times of need.
In order to explain how this works, we will analyze a system that specializes in health benefits and access to healthcare expertise. Gusto, a billion-dollar San Francisco startup has recently proven to the public that a single system can (and will) handle benefits, HR, and payroll management at ones. What is more, it will do so in an easy and intuitive fashion, and without requiring low-tier market participants to pay outrageous prices.
If you’re not a member of the Gusto community, you may as well use a short intro to the system’s reputation. Gusto is a relatively young payroll automation product that integrates benefits administration and HR management, and complies with tax provisions, HIPPA, ACA, and ERISA standards for several US states (payroll automation, nevertheless, applies to all states).
It is popular by its intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface, fair pricing, and unlimited customization. In terms of benefits management, Gusto also covers 401 (k) retirement plans and 529 college saving schemes, and provides access to industry experts throughout the entire onboarding process.
Enrolling and assigning health care benefits is indeed a cumbersome and time-consuming process, having in mind the effort it takes to process them, and all those piles of paperwork involved. With Gusto, luckily, that will no longer be the case.
What thrilled Gusto users the most, and placed this system on the wall of fame within months was exactly health benefits automation, as the company developed a whole new concept of custom benefit enrollment that fits both legal requirements and diverse business specifications. The idea behind this concept was to enable users to observe the full picture of their contributions, despite of availing all traditional health plans. Basically, Gusto is the only electronic system where you can enroll benefits as soon as you sign up, and in a relatively similar manner. Paperwork? Well, you can forget about it!
In order to get started, you should open the Benefits tab, and choose the ones that apply in your case from a clutter-free dropdown menu. Gusto will list all top options at your disposal, including the possibility to choose dependents and relate plans to each other. Overall, your options will be categorized in three groups: Medical, Vision, and Dental benefits.
Once you’ve selected your plan, click on the Get Started button.
The first piece of information the system will require is ‘Who’s covered’ with the plan, which means you will be required to select dependents (either from the profiles you’ve created or add new ones from scratch), and enter their personal data including:
Once you’ve inserted all information, save it.
At this stage, the system will reveal a Pick a Plan button. Once you click on it, the system will invite you to check the boxes of dependents under that plan, including yourself whose data as a basic user will already appear in the system. You may be overwhelmed by the large list of options offered by the system, but at the bottom of each plan page, you will find a cost summary for that plan, and the contributions each employee is expected to make based on his/her income. This will make it easier for you to decide, and ascribe dependents to different plans. Note that the system may also require extra employee information for certain plans.
Save the changes, and continue.
Once a plan form is fulfilled, the system will invite you to sign it using a special button where you enter your names, agree to terms and conditions, and then save the changes. All signed forms will be displayed to you on a single list, so that you can check them and confirm their accuracy, and save them altogether and at once.
On the following page, you will find the date when the coverage for each plan is projected to start, the dates when each of the beneficiaries will receive a special ID card, and the validated forms they should independently submit to their insurance service providers. Your intervention as the admin will be minimal, and you won’t be expected to print or distribute any paper documents.
Once you’ve signed and validated all benefits, and enrolled all beneficiaries, you can use Gusto’s employer dashboard for monitoring and administration purposes. Returning to the Benefits tab, you will find all benefits and employees included listed on a single page. Once you open the page of a specific benefit, the system will also display the days needed for new hires to become eligible for that benefit, or to start contributing to their coverage plan. In the most common scenarios, the waiting time will be:
The same information will be available to employees as well, and they can download it in the desired format even after they’ve ceased their contract with you. They will also be invited to sign in for different policies, which will all be shown to you in understandable, breakdown charts.
A handy option to use is also View Complete Enrollment, where you can access each employee’s summary, together with the plans and policies they’ve chosen, their contributions, and monthly premiums. If they desire so, employees can also deduct a certain amount from their income, and redirect it to different charity funds.
What will you be able to monitor at this stage?
Gusto’s true value is its ability to combine benefits administration with HR management and payroll automation, which means all data is automatically synced, and ideally transferred to your accounting/HR system. The tool is also praised for smart roles & permissions assignment, and ease of use that makes it accessible even to inexperienced users. The mobile usability gives you the peace of mind that everyone is paid accordingly and in time, without you necessarily being in the office. Best of all, Gusto is reasonably priced and charges only $39 base price, where you can add a person for only $6 single-time fee. Ready to begin?
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