5 Tips to improve employee benefits compliance and avoid fines

September 18, 2023 at 9:00 PM

Maintaining compliance with employee benefit regulations is crucial for organizations to avoid potentially hefty fines and legal issues. However, it's not just about avoiding penalties––proper benefits compliance also shows employees that the company cares about following laws and providing promised compensation.

Employee benefits compliance builds trust and improves talent retention, which is crucial for organizational success. That's why partnering with experts like Ashton Benefits can pay dividends through their compliance team services.

Conduct Regular Audits of Benefit Plans

Thoroughly reviewing your employee benefit plans regularly is critical to maintaining compliance. Confirm that requirements are followed regarding:

  • Eligibility
  • Enrollment
  • Documentation r

Verify plan details like benefit limits match filings with regulators. Conducting periodic audits ensures you catch issues early before they become major compliance violations.

Conduct full audits annually, with targeted spot checks quarterly or semiannually. Examine:

  • Eligibility
  • Discrimination testing
  • Plan documents
  • Filings
  • Notices
  • Disclosures

Strong documentation demonstrates compliance efforts if regulators do inquire—partner with an experienced consultant like Ashton Benefits for guidance on conducting productive audits.

Review and Update Plan Documents

Laws, regulations, and plan features change over time. Reviewing your employee benefit plan documents regularly to make necessary updates is essential.

  • Are references and contacts still accurate?
  • Have eligibility requirements been modified?
  • Do limits need adjusting based on inflation or other factors?

Keeping plan documents current avoids confusion and noncompliance down the road.

Conduct thorough plan document reviews annually to confirm you have the most updated versions from carriers and vendors. Accurate documents, including addendums for significant events like benefit changes, carrier switches, and mergers and acquisitions, are crucial for smooth HR administration and compliance.

Train HR Staff and Managers on Compliance

HR staff and frontline managers need regular training on employee benefit compliance issues. They need to understand eligibility terms for:

  • New hires
  • Coverage changes for life events
  • Non-discrimination rules
  • Other key regulations

A well-trained staff helps minimize mistakes that could lead to fines or litigation. Refresher courses are wise as regulations and HR staff inevitably change over time.

Complement formal training sessions with quick reminder emails when regulations change. Also, give managers simple FAQ sheets on eligibility and enrollment for reference. Make sure remote staff have access to resources, too. Ongoing education ensures the whole organization is up-to-speed on compliance.

Monitor Vendor and Carrier Relationships

Third-party administrators, insurance carriers, and other vendors play crucial roles in managing employee benefits. Make sure to monitor their contract compliance and performance regularly.

  • Are claims getting paid accurately and on time?
  • Are notices and disclosures being provided correctly?

Oversee vendors to ensure they uphold their end of compliance.

Schedule regular check-in calls or meetings with vendors to discuss performance metrics, service issues, and compliance updates. Confirm they're following proper protocols and controls in their systems and processes. Robust vendor oversight makes it easy to resolve any problems identified quickly.

Seek Help from Compliance Experts Like Ashton Benefits

Keeping up with all the moving parts of benefits compliance is challenging. An experienced consultant like Ashton Benefits can help guide you through:

  • Audits
  • Document updating
  • Staff training
  • Vendor oversight

An experienced compliance team like Ashton Benefits has deep expertise to help avoid missteps and keep your plans compliant. Don't risk fines - contact Ashton Benefits today to protect your organization.

Partnering with a compliance expert provides an objective outside perspective of your program. They have the resources and experience to provide support where internal teams may become overwhelmed.

Schedule a consultation with Ashton Benefits to improve employee benefits compliance.

Staying compliant with complex employee benefit regulations is difficult but crucial to avoid fines, maintain operations, and attract top talent in your market. Partner with Ashton Benefits and leverage their compliance team services for audits, document updates, staff training, vendor monitoring, and more to avoid fines and issues.

Contact Ashton Benefits today to schedule a consultation and ensure your benefits plans follow all laws.

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