What to Look for When Selecting a Third Party Administrator

April 12, 2021

For plan sponsors considering a third party administrator (TPA) to process their health or PFL claims, provide pension and/or health and welfare administration, or payroll auditing, deciding which firm is the best choice can be overwhelming.

Man and woman using a credit card on a laptop

There are, however, certain criteria that should be met. Besides being able to demonstrate experience and a proven track record handling the specific task you are looking to outsource, best in class TPAs will also reflect the following traits:

  • They are financially solvent.
  • They are flexible and will customize a program to best meet an organization’s specific needs.
  • They have a well-seasoned team with a minimum of 7 years of experience dedicated to seamless onboarding of new clients.
  • They offer Monday – Friday customer service with convenient hours (e.g., 8 AM to 8 PM) to accommodate both plan sponsors/employers and plan members/employees.
  • Their customer service is U.S. based with trained, knowledgeable, and courteous customer service representatives with a high percentage of bilingual representatives. Ask if the customer service unit has ever been nationally recognized with an award attesting to its call center’s high quality.
  • Their call center uses real-time analytics to benchmark its performance and promote high quality customer service.
  • They offer plan-specific customer service toll-free numbers.
  • They have a robust training program for all new hires to test and ensure a high level of competency.
  • They have the ability to increase intraday capacity and ramp up as needed.
  • They have a loyal, longstanding staff with longer than average employee tenures and exceptionally low turnover rates.
  • They have an extensive suite of products and services to meet both current and future needs.
    By assessing a TPA candidate against these criteria and making their selection accordingly, plan sponsors can pave the way a successful TPA partnership which provides added value to both plan sponsors ad their members.