As double-digit increases in medical insurance continue, many employers look for ways to keep their budgets lean. Employers across the country are cutting back on employee benefits as one measure to combat a lagging economy. A few payroll companies, however, have developed unique solutions that are helping their customers and their benefits brokers become more efficient. 

Payroll service bureaus have a distinct advantage in capturing data and now are using technology to eliminate the manual errors that ultimately cost employers valuable dollars. The process of enrolling an employee into each benefit plan, typing in the correct payroll deduction, collecting the employee portion from their paycheck, and moving that money to the carrier is prone to human error. Studies show that on average a 3 to 8 percent error rate exists in the annual administration of employee benefits. These monies are in addition to premium paid to the carrier and directly impact a company's bottom line. 

HR specialists are charged with the arduous task of tracking benefit eligibility for new hires, collecting paper forms, notifying the insurance companies, setting up payroll deductions and the list goes on. Combine this manual quagmire with an aged model of how employers, brokers, carriers and payroll systems communicate with each other and you have a recipe for significant cash leaks. Employees that were terminated are still on the plans, deductions were not collected for those employees who are out on leave or otherwise missed a paycheck, and employees who did not earn enough to meet their premiums are just a few of the items that HR must guard against. 

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