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Administer Benefits Online

March 1, 1997
Related Topics: Internet, HR Services and Administration, Featured Article, Benefits
Many an HR department has found itself mired in the benefits bureaucracy. Like quicksand, it can slowly envelop everybody who crosses its path. According to industry estimates, between 10 percent and 30 percent of all employee information changes every month, with perhaps a half-dozen people handling and approving various forms and paperwork.

Hassles begone. One company hopes to change all that. Employease Inc. of Atlanta has introduced software that automates benefits administration and reduces paperwork by using the Net. Companies with 25 to 2,000 employees or more can zap data to Employease, which handles the processing of monthly invoices and generates enrollment forms, annual benefits statements and more. "It gives Joe's automotive repair or Jane's Flower shop the same capabilities of an Oracle or Microsoft," says John J. Nail, the company's CEO.

It works on a simple enough premise: an HR department connects to Employease's site (which uses military-grade encryption, firewalls and password protection) and then uploads data for processing. The company processes the data on its own computer and then sends the results back within seconds. Rather than incurring the cost of developing a home-grown solution from scratch or investing in specialized software, employers pay an initial $99 sign-up charge (plus $1 per employee). Then they pay a per-month per-employee access fee that typically ranges between $1 and $4 (in addition to a sliding-scale base fee that ranges from zero to $2,325 for organizations employing more than 1,000 employees).

Later this year, Employease will add a full self-service component, so that employees can check their own benefits records and make changes. Says Nail: "It eliminates a lot of the paper pushing and hassles associated with benefits. Whether you're General Motors or a five-person business, it gets rid of the ongoing struggle to maintain information."

Workforce, March 1997, Vol. 76, No. 3, p. 85.

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