If your agency is in the process of choosing a benefitsadministration platform, there are seven criteria you should use tocompare vendors. I’ve covered the first six — integrations,funding, licenses and more — in previouscolumns. Here, I’ll cover the final criteria: the softwarevendor’s partners.

Every online benefits system wants to one day be integrated withall carriers and all payroll providers. But these integrations taketime. Besides the technology considerations, there is the peopleaspect. Most integrations in our industry require meetings,negotiations and working the project plan into the already-existingworkload. As a result, no system is integrated with everyonetoday.

When you evaluate the various systems, you should break downyour questions about the system’s partners into the followingcategories:

  1. Health, dental, and vision carriers
  2. Life and disability carriers
  3. Worksite carriers (e.g., critical illness, cancer, accident)
  4. Nontraditional (e.g., identity protection, prepaid legal, petinsurance)
  5. Payroll companies
  6. General agencies

Let’s take these one at a time.

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