|Available for Interview: Jerry Calistri
|Contact: Susan Guzo: 570-561-1006
Employers Can Mitigate Crisis with Online Benefit Systems
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, business owners across the country are trying to determine how their human resources personnel and other employees can work effectively from home. As a result, many employers now wish that they had previously converted their paper-based HR system to an online benefits platform.
“This crisis underscores the need for employers to modernize their benefits administration, so that it will continue seamlessly during any emergency,” according to Jerry Calistri, President and CEO of Swift Kennedy & Associates, an insurance brokerage firm that specializes in group employee benefit plans, individual policies, and senior insurance products.
“At a time like this, business owners have enough on their minds without having to worry about whether their HR staffs have the tools they need to handle basic benefit administration,” said Calistri, whose firm also handles digital benefit administration, COBRA administration, and ACA compliance for clients.
Online Benefits Access
One of the biggest advantages of online benefit systems is that they allow a company’s human resources staff to continue doing benefit administration, such as processing employee applications and terminations, remotely.
These digital systems also let employees access their benefit information online 24/7 year-round, which is especially valued by millennials and Gen Z employees.
Many employers are finding that digital platforms greatly reduce employees’ confusion over benefits by providing them with online support aids like plan comparison tools, cost calculators, provider directories, and videos, as well as online benefit summaries. These tools allow workers to have a clearer understanding of their choices and make better informed decisions.
Faster and More Accurate
Since online benefit systems reduce the number of mistakes that are so common with manual applications, the enrollment process is faster. As a result, employees often receive their insurance identification cards faster, which can reduce problems if medical services are needed quickly.
These digital systems also allow employers to communicate critical benefit information rapidly to employees, which is especially important in a fast-changing environment like the current health crisis. For example, if an insurance carrier waives the fee for an important medical test, employers can notify their workers immediately.
Another reason that business owners like online benefit platforms is that these systems offer tools to help with ACA compliance, tax forms, invoices, payroll integration, absence management, and other important aspects of human resources. This lets their HR staffs spend more time on employee training, professional development and engagement.
In addition, digital benefit administration allows employers to access claims data, which helps them select the most appropriate benefit plans for their workers.
Never Too Late
This is still a good time for businesses to convert to an online benefit system, according to Calistri.
“If a client provides us with the data, Swift Kennedy can take it from there, setting up a digital benefit system for them, getting their benefit plans online, and entering their employees’ benefit selections – and doing everything remotely,” he said.
“We want to help business owners, their employees and their families solve problems, so that they come out of this extremely difficult time in the best shape possible.”
Swift Kennedy & Associates is an insurance brokerage firm that helps businesses find affordable employee benefit plans, including medical, dental, vision, life, disability and alternative funding options. This full-service agency’s services also include digital benefit administration, COBRA administration, enrollment assistance and ACA compliance. The firm, which offers all health insurance carriers in Pennsylvania, has offices in State College, Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, DuBois and Virginia Beach.
Jerry Calistri is President and Chief Executive Officer of Swift Kennedy & Associates. He has over 20 years of experience in the employee benefits industry, including working at the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund in Harrisburg and at Geisinger Health Plan as Regional Sales & Operations Manager for the Western Region. A Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist, Calistri is a Senatorial Member of Health Agents for America, a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and a PAC Board Member for Health Agents for America. In addition, he is an active member and past president of the Mid Penn chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.