Best Practices for Onboarding Leave Technology

Unlocking Efficiency and Success

Unlocking Efficiency and Success

Employers are increasingly turning to their broker partners to help make sense of the latest leave integration technologies.
Unlocking Efficiency and Success
Leave remains one of the most complex benefits for employers to administer. With so many advancements in leave integration capabilities, your customers need guidance on where to begin and how to navigate benefits conversations with insurance carriers.

Why Is Leave Integration So Complex?

For employers, new types of leaves are emerging all the time. Over the past two decades an increasing number of states have created paid family and medical leave (PFML) programs. Some of these programs are mandatory for employers and some are optional When company-sponsored time off is added to disability leaves and municipal, state, and federal leaves, the already challenging task of leave management becomes even more difficult.
The Hartford’s 2023 Future of Benefits Study found that 64% of employers say the number of states implementing paid leave laws is increasing pressure to provide consistent PFML programs across their workforce. Additionally, 33% of employers say there is no easy way to track and manage all the leave types.1
“For traditional brokers, it’s complicated to counsel your clients, because it requires knowledge of individual state and federal laws that can impact a single customer,” says Karen Suller, technical sales and relationship executive for Group Benefits at The Hartford.
“Additionally, there are new players influencing clients’ decisions around absence platforms, such as independent HR technology consultants and brokers who are standing up their own internal HR technology consulting and integration teams,” she says. “It’s important for carriers to also be connected to this expanded group of influencers so they can help counsel clients on exactly how their products, services and portals are integrated for each vendor.”
Carriers are using technology and reporting to create a single source of leave management to ensure compliance via in-house subject matter experts.

Request for Proposal (RFP) and Checklists: Steps All Parties Can Take To Make It Easier

Make it a priority to understand your clients’ needs up front. Are they partnered with carriers that have the tools to help them be successful? Is your client asking the right questions at the right time?
The Hartford has created a facilitation guide to help brokers better understand those data needs and get ahead of any potential hurdles. Some examples of questions to ask your clients include: 2
  • What technology partners does the employer work with to support benefit eligibility or administration, leave and payroll? Understanding who each of these players is and where the data comes from to support the client is critical to the project's success.
  • What capabilities does the employer use on each platform (e.g., payroll, benefits administration, time and attendance)?
  • Can the carrier exchange data with the tech vendor and how does it work (file feed versus Application Programming Interface, also known as API)?
  • Can the platform support the employer’s specific eligibility rules?
  • Can the vendor support the employer’s plan design and/or rate structure?
  • Which vendor will need to be connected to support leave requirements?
  • Who is doing the build of these integrations for each vendor?
“Equally important when leave integration is in play is to confirm that your client has the right technology to meet their needs, especially on the reporting front. Connect them with people who can have these conversations early in the process, who know where issues can arise and how to correct them.”
– Deb Grossman, manager of technology services for Group Benefits at The Hartford

There Is No Easy Button, But Our Team Can Help

You can begin managing your client’s expectations by acknowledging that leave integration may be a bumpy ride sometimes. That’s why consultation at pre-sale is essential, along with having the right people who can consult throughout the process.
“The Hartford is seeing an increase in brokers and companies asking for a technical call either before a Request for Proposal (RFP) is released or before the finalist meeting to dig into the functionality of the technology,” says Suller.
The right technology is as critical as the people. Carriers need to have a team of experts in both benefits and leave administration sales as well as service and implementation. These experienced teams must understand how their products integrate with their selected vendor partners and what that means for the user experience, for both the employer handling the administration and their employees.
To help navigate this increasingly complex technology landscape, The Hartford built a team that supports technology discussions at pre-sale and post-sale with employers and brokers around the country. The sales team has participated in more than 100 finalist and broker meetings to help employers understand the services and support available. The operations team partners internally with billing, sales and relationship management teams and connects with technology vendors to ensure a smooth onboarding process.
For more information about our HR Tech Sales and Services for employers, contact your representative at The Hartford.

Featured Articles

A Better Experience for New Business
Through communication, collaboration and best practices, we’re working to streamline the Request for Proposal process.
2066251 9/23
1 The Hartford's 2023 Future of Benefits Study, viewed August 2023.
2 The Hartford’s Onboarding checklist
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries, including underwriting company Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company under the brand name, The Hartford,® and is headquartered at One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. For additional details, please read The Hartford’s legal notice at Todos los beneficios están sujetos a los términos y condiciones de la póliza. Policies underwritten by the underwriting company listed above detail exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits and terms under which the policies may be continued in force or discontinued.