Each year, HighRoads surveys companies about their current processes and future plans for compliance communications. In 2013, HighRoads invited mid- to large-sized organizations
throughout the United States to share information about their compliance and governance operations; their approach to producing, updating and distributing Summary Plan Descriptions (SPD) and the steps they are taking to generate the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and other required notices under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Highlights from the 2013 survey include:
‣ Two-thirds of respondents have a formal compliance strategy, and 47% have dedicated governance and compliance team.
‣ Fewer employers planned to update their SPDs this year, with just 16% planning a rewrite for readability (down 50%) and 67% planning content updates.
‣ More employers are using or planning to use social media (such as Twitter or Facebook) to communicate with employees and retirees.
‣ Some things never change – the biggest challenges facing employers when it comes to producing SPDs are having sufficient resources and managing the review process. But twice as many respondents as last year indicated “writing” was a challenge.
‣ More employers are producing ACA-required materials in house than in previous years. Forty percent of respondents generated SBCs themselves this year (up from just 18% last year) and 68% planned to produce the Notice of Coverage Options in house.