What are Integrated Benefits?

Malcolm Tatum

Integrated benefits are employee benefits that encompass not only traditional employee compensation but also disability programs as one total package. In many countries, disability benefits are addressed separately from wages, vacation time, sick leave, and other types of employee benefits. Combining all benefits under one simple plan can save time and money for everyone concerned. The Human Resources department may manage an integrated benefit package, or the company may choose to outsource the function to a company that offers and specializes in the creation and management of integrated benefits solutions.

Integrated benefit programs combine traditional employee compensation with disability programs.
Integrated benefit programs combine traditional employee compensation with disability programs.

There are advantages for both the employer and the employee in creating an integrated benefits package. For the employer, managing all types of benefits through a central pipeline can be cost-effective. Whether accomplished in house with a team of benefit specialists or outsourced to a company offering integrated benefit services, the employer will save a significant amount of time and money in benefits management. This helps to free up company resources to devote to other matters, such as production and general operations.

For the employee, integrated benefits offer the ability to select from a catalog of available benefits to create the ideal package. This allows the employee to have exactly what he or she needs in the way of benefits, rather than having to settle for a standard benefit package that applies to everyone associated with the company. By picking and choosing the specific benefits included, it is possible to manage any cost the employee pays for components such as disability coverage or health insurance, while omitting any components that the employee does not wish to carry.

Generally, an integrated benefits package will include several alternatives to the same type of benefit. For example, the employee may opt to go with either a PPO (preferred provider organization) or some sort of managed care for the health insurance option. With life insurance, the employee may choose between term life and whole life options. The flexibility available with an integrated benefit package makes it possible for everyone to be happy, a situation that is likely to help promote and maintain good morale among the employees.

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Because there are a number of services that offer integrated benefits packages, employers should consider each one carefully before making a selection. Paying close attention to the providers of the individual services is just as important as evaluating the range of services offered in the package. By making sure the benefits package contains offerings from well-known and respected providers, the chances of choosing the right integrated benefits solution is greatly increased.

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