The Rise of Smartphone Apps in Benefits Administration

Over the past year, HRO service providers have launched various smartphone apps. One of the first apps I became aware of was ADP’s RUN app for small business owners. It’s been interesting monitoring the progress of this app since its launch in October 2010. Within six months, it reached 100,000 users while only available for Apple devices. It has since been made available to the Android and RIM platforms, adding even more users.

Payroll seemed like an ideal place for HRO service providers to develop apps. ADP then took it one step further and launched the ADP Mobile Solutions app, which provides users with HR, payroll, and benefits information including retirement savings information such as current 401(k) allocations, distribution percentages, account balances, and rates of return.

Towers Watson also has an app, TWGlobal50. It provides HR and benefits professionals with various information including planned pay increases, changes in employee engagement levels, talent mobility interest rates, and changes in healthcare benefit costs.

Unlike payroll, apps within benefits administration can cover a broad range of topics such as Morneau Shepell’s My EAP app, which provides the following:

  • Health and wellness articles (from its workhealthlife.com website)
  • Access to confidential e-counseling
  • LifeSpeak On Demand video clips on a range of personal and work-related topics.

Other apps available from benefits administration providers allow users to access more personalized data. For example, Buck Consultants’ Benefits Genie Lite and Benefits Genie apps enable users to track a wide variety of health and insurance information for themselves or other family members including:

  • Allergy information
  • Prescription medications
  • Vaccinations
  • Operations
  • Family history
  • Physician contact information
  • Benefits co-payments and deductibles, etc.

Although not an app per se, Aon Hewitt is also enabling its client employees to access their personal health and retirement information from smartphones via secure websites, allowing users to make changes to their retirement plans and even enroll for benefits.

These more interactive personalized apps make it easy for employees to stay connected and engaged as more responsibility is being shifted on individuals to manage their own retirement savings and health. Also, with healthcare reform, we are likely to see apps expanding to new areas such as healthcare exchanges.

Mobile access from any device will quickly move from a differentiator to a requirement, including for HRO. The difficulty is the development time, costs, and security challenges for services that will not likely generate new revenues as much as protect revenues and support continued growth. Technology investment decisions will be critical in staying current and still managing needed margins.

Stay tuned.

Amy L. Gurchensky, Research Analyst, HRO, NelsonHall

 

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: benefits administration, benefits administration outsourcing, Employee Engagement, healthcare, HR Mobile Apps, HRO Service Provider, Mobile Apps, outsourcing research, payroll outsourcing, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: