EBA offers a variety of services tailored to each client. It provides specialized expertise allowing the client's HR Department to support the organization's core competencies. EBA will focus on:
1. COBRA and HIPAA administration
2. Flexible Spending Accounts administration
3. Basic Benefits Administration for Group Health Plans
4. A service level that includes all of the options above
Within the first three to four years in business, EBA plans to expand its services from strictly benefits administration to offering payroll services and other HR administration programs.
Companies that currently provide benefits outsourcing include: Benefit Concepts, Trion, The Javers Group, Arbor, ADP and Ceridian. However, these companies either provide partial outsourcing services and it is not their main line of business, or they target a much larger clientele.
Additionally, some insurance companies and brokers offer some degree of administrative support. EBA will tailor its services to each client, including offering a call center to answer employees' questions. The call center, along with the principals' 25 years of experience, are key factors that the competition doesn't have. Unless a competitor is a third party administrator for processing claims, they will not provide a call center.
It has been the experience of the principals that no matter how much a company automates the benefits process, employees still want to pick up the phone and speak to a live person. It is an invaluable customer service feature. The principals of Employee Benefits Administrators have over 25 years of experience in corporate benefit administration and a history of providing outstanding customer service. Throughout their careers with various employers, they have held senior benefits positions, giving them an edge over their competition.
EBA has produced a brochure for their clients. This brochure outlines the services provided, as well as the benefits a company will experience by outsourcing benefits administrative functions.
EBA will publish a quarterly newsletter to be sent not only to current clients, but to prospects as well. The newsletter will include recent legal updates and summaries, definition of terms, and a brief question and answer section on basic employee benefit questions.
A Power Point presentation has been designed to deliver in a sales presentation. When presenting proposals, EBA will not only offer the proposal document, but also a folder of information. The folder will include hand-outs explaining the company, its services, and their edge over the competition.
A website is also in process. It is designed to handle general benefits questions as well as describing and marketing EBA's services. The website will contain links to other appropriate Human Resources websites.
Once a client signs a contract for services, EBA will meet with the current benefits administrator to complete a client data sheet. The client data sheet will:
From the client data sheet, EBA will then initiate the relationships necessary for each service. For example: if EBA is to administer the medical insurance, the insurance provider will be contacted and introduced to EBA as the new administrator. EBA then becomes the contact for these services and the benefit provider will accept and funnel information through EBA.
With the completion of the client data sheet, EBA will request the census of appropriate employee data in order to populate the HRIS. Two audits of this information will be performed. The first will audit the client's data against EBA's, and the second will audit EBA's data against each benefit provider.
As of the effective date of the contract, EBA will then become the client's Benefits Administration Department. Depending on the services the client has elected, EBA will be responsible for:
EBA relies on the technology of ASP: Application Service Providers. EBA is the benefits administrator for its clients and needs immediate access to employee data. Buying this technology and hiring a professional to support it is not cost effective for a start-up company. By contracting with an ASP, EBA has access to software and support that otherwise may not be available.
EBA has purchased access licensing for the Human Resources software. This software will track all of the necessary information on employees, and offers a reporting module in order to provide clients with periodic reports. The software is set up to handle multiple companies with multiple locations and/or divisions, if necessary. Great Plains™ is also "expandable", meaning the package can deliver more than just employee benefits information. For example: the software also offers a Payroll Module. This was a definite benefit when reviewing software packages, especially since Payroll Services may be part of EBA's future service options.
Currently, the two principals have IBM laptop computers which are networked at the office. Each laptop can be "docked" into a dummy terminal allowing use of a full size monitor and keyboard. Internet access is handled via a DSL modem and router. The DSL service is provided by the main telephone service provider in the area.
As stated previously, high speed Internet access through DSL is extremely important. A client's employee data needs to be accessed in a moment's notice in order to provide the client with a basis of good customer service.
In the future, EBA will broaden its services to include administration of payroll processing as well as other types of optional Human Resources programs. The principals of EBA will continue to watch the development in HR and follow the avenues leading to more business opportunities and ideas.
As the company and the outsourcing market grows, the Internet will become a very valuable tool. The website and the Internet can greatly automate employee enrollments and change processes. The website is planned to be able to handle multiple company and users specific to each company's plans, with links to the company's website and intranet.
Obtaining broker and agent licenses are also planned. In becoming brokers and agents, EBA will be able to provide more services to their clients -- offering it all under "one roof".
EBA will also expand its market to national companies as well, but will continue to focus on the small to medium size employer.