Online enrollment is the wave of the future – it’s fast, easy and convenient for both applicants and the agencies charged with administering service. Because there’s no paper and no time consuming back and forth around communication, applicants can get enrolled faster without hiccups and hassle. When organizations are communicating via email with applicants, however, it’s critically important to have measures in place to protect enrollee privacy.
When applicants enroll in a benefits plan online, it’s cumbersome process – reviewing election options and completing forms is both tedious and time consuming. If an applicant makes a mistake or has a question, it’s convenient and efficient to communicate with benefits administrators via email – provided that the exchange is safe and secure.
Benefit enrollment spans a broad spectrum of decisions ranging from retirement accounts to health care to flexible spending accounts to life insurance – and completing the enrollment process requires that a significant amount of personal information exchanges hands. And the responsibility for keeping this sensitive, private information safe and secure falls squarely on the shoulders of the benefits provider.
How can benefit administrators keep enrollees’ private information safe and secure throughout the online enrollment process and beyond?
Take Ownership of Enrollee Data Security
Enrollees trust and rely on benefits providers to keep their personal information private – it’s just assumed that administrators have appropriate measures in place around data security. While the risk of breach via hijacked email may seem small, the damage that hackers can wield through infiltrating sensitive email communications is large-scale and significant, and it’s the benefits provider’s obligation to protect enrollees.
Provide a Safe and Secure Forum for Communication
When enrollees are reviewing benefit selections and have questions about options, eligibility or the enrollment process generally, it’s important for benefits providers to be readily accessible and to communicate effectively. Time-crunched enrollees are anxious to get their questions answered and complete the enrollment process, and digital communication is a key driver of efficiency. In order to provide a safe forum for communication, it’s critical to have secure document delivery protocols in place.
Implement Email Encryption to Protect Sensitive Information
The key to secure document delivery is encryption. When benefits providers send documents containing sensitive information to enrollees via email, it’s vitally important to encrypt the transmission to keep prying eyes out of the communication stream.
It’s also important to simplify the document retrieval process for the enrollee – if it feels complicated or involves downloading software the “convenience” of digital communication is compromised and becomes more trouble than it’s worth.
Secure document delivery protocols are a vitally important piece of the data security pie for benefits providers, and the time to implement is now.