General Education

Answers to questions about Hodges-Mace, our services,
and general industry knowledge.

The SmartBen® Bridge program provides great connections, service and value for our partners. However, we don’t stop there. By making sure Hodges-Mace continues to be innovative and a thought leader in the industry, we hope to provide future partners with invaluable resources and guidance when it comes to the benefits technology space.

Here are some common questions we see in discussion with our partnerships,
services and overall industry knowledge. Please contact us for further questions.

What is an API?

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) make the exchange of benefits information more efficient by acting as a third-party entity that verifies encrypted information has been safely exchanged electronically in real time. When an employer enters information in one system through an API, it acts like the system of record for all carriers involved in the exchange. By having cross-system integration, APIs can jump over other methods like file feeds and create real-time links between systems in a secure environment. This means if an employer has an API built between a payroll and benefit point solution, it can enter their information into the payroll system and then the information is virtually carried over to the benefit point solution.

By entering information in one place where that data can be consumed by all technologies, employers can get the best of each technology verticals without the additional leg work. By embracing APIs, employers can be more confident that their benefits information will be accurate, safe, real-time and more efficient.

Within a single sign-on (SSO) environment, the API and SSO build out works together. An SSO allows for an individual to only remember one login, where the API is transferring data without the need for manual intervention between the two systems. If an API integrates with an HCM environment, then errors traditionally associated with sharing benefits information are eliminated.

What is an HCM?

Human Capital Management (HCM) platforms combine payroll technology, HRIS functionality and benefit solutions into one combined interface that allows an employer to enter information into one spot and populate the others. HCMs pride themselves on the concept of entering all their information in one place without having to deal with multiple technology firms.

Why have a
benefit point
solution versus
an HCM?

While we agree that HCMs execute when it comes to payroll and HRIS, when it comes to benefits solutions, we find that they are not experts in that niche. Many HCMs are still sending files between their internal platforms behind the scenes, and their system cannot handle the complexity of certain benefits like critical illness stacking, wellness credit application, benefits by pay band, multiple languages and decision support tools. HCMs are built to be first a payroll/HRIS integration and then third a benefits tool. This causes the system to not be as well designed for communication and execution of benefits and enrollment. By choosing a benefit point solution and then layering it with payroll/HRIS, employers can ensure a higher quality benefits delivery and strategy within their tool, especially when there is an API.

Why partner with
Hodges-Mace?

Hodges-Mace is the ideal partner when it comes to achieving better results for clients. Please read our Why Partner page.

What is
Hodges-Mace’s
Value Proposition?

The cost and complexity of employee benefits, especially health care, impact nearly every business and individual in this country. We know that people are busier, budgets are tighter and the financial choices that we make today are more important than ever. How can employees be confident in navigating a journey that has so many twists and turns along the way? At Hodges-Mace, our mission is to breathe new life into benefits by empowering employees to make smarter decisions for themselves and their families. We help employers create a more meaningful employee experience, tailored for each workforce. We take pride in removing the barriers that stand in the way. Whether it’s innovative technology that sits in the palm of your hand or a conversation with one of our benefit experts, we believe in the power and potential of a smart consumer.

With the SmartBen Bridge program, we form a customized connection and relationship with firms looking to build a better benefits strategy for employers. By creating one goal together, we can transform our clients’ solution into something that now only adds ease and relief on an employer, but also that “a-ha” moment when employees finally see the value in what they’re offered.

How can employers
provide connectivity
beyond the industry?

Please visit our SmartBen NOW® page to learn about our all-in-one mobile app and dashboard.

What is
Project ECHO?

We’ve recently launched our ability to connect with Amazon’s Echo! Now, employees can get real-time benefits information directly from Alexa. Watch this video to learn more about this exciting new project.

Check out articles, webinars, and
news mentions here!

Are you interested in partnering
with Hodges-Mace?

We look forward to speaking with you.

Mike Ehrle
SVP – Strategic Partnerships
Hodges-Mace Smarter Benefits / Atlanta
c: 312.523.1059
o: 404.941.3573
mikeehrle@hodgesmace.com