A benefits analyst is a human resource specialist who is an expert in a company’s employee benefits program. This person provides expertise in many areas, including group health and dental insurance, disability insurance, retirement plans, health and flexible savings accounts, paid time off and all government policies related to employee benefits. A benefits analyst's duties normally include administering the company’s group health plan. The benefits analyst explains the plan features to employees and helps them enroll properly. He or she acts as a liaison between the insurance carrier and the employees and helps facilitate the resolution of billing and claims questions.
Part of the benefits analyst's job description includes annually reviewing the company’s employee benefits program and making recommendations for the following year. He or she will negotiate a plan and rate changes with the insurance carrier or broker and suggest ways to increase participation. The analyst will examine the utilization of the plan and work with the insurance carrier to find ways to help the employees utilize their plan more efficiently.
Another duty of the benefits analyst is to help employees who have claims against their disability policy. A benefits analyst must be able to explain the provisions of the disability coverage to the employee and help coordinate his or her medical treatment with the insurance carrier. The analyst aids both the employee and the company in this regard by making sure that the employee is fairly compensated by the insurance carrier and making sure that the employee returns to work as soon as he or she is medically cleared to do so.
Benefits analysts also track and monitor employees’ paid time off. Companies use different ways to award and track paid time off, and benefits analysts implement and administer these methods. Benefits analysts resolve any disputes between employees and the company about paid time off, such as vacation days and personal days.
In addition to group insurance and paid time off, a benefits analyst is often well-versed in government laws and policies related to employee benefits. These laws affect almost all companies and employees at some point. The benefits analyst must be able to correctly interpret and apply the applicable laws to make sure that the company and the employees are protected.
Another of the analyst’s duties is to help implement and administer several tax-favorable savings plans for employees. There are many types of these plans. A benefits analyst will make recommendations to company management about which, if any, of the types would benefit the company and its employees.
The benefits analyst's job does not necessarily require any special licensing, but most companies seek candidates who have degrees and experience in human resources. Many benefits analysts obtain professional certifications. Benefits analysts are often active in local chapters of professional organizations related to human resources.