Online SPD Service & Delivery
Making available simply a PDF of your SPD doesn't do much to improve your participants' understanding of their benefits. SPDs and Plan Documents should be HTML formatted, indexed for instant access, searchable, linkable, print-capable, and equipped with navigational buttons for random browsing.
The online SPD is the keystone of the MultiEmployer.com benefit website. Providing an HTML formatted version (in addition to a PDF version) has a number of advantages:
- Internal linking with other areas of the site. Since the BenefitTab™ summaries are high-level abstracts of Plan provisions, linking to the relevant SPD sections permits users to "drill down" to more detailed explanations without losing their place in the summaries. This feature may be employed in other areas of the site such as Life Events, FAQs, and the Plan Document if made available. If the site also provides a Spanish HTML version, the ESL user can toggle between the English and Spanish pages for more clarity.
- Ease of use in browsing through the SPD utilizing the Table of Contents links as well as page to page navigational buttons. Sub-chapter headings with links to individual SPD sections enhance these features.
- The ability to post a never out-of-date "Live" SPD. As Plan changes are made between SPD restatements, the online SPD incorporates those changes either directly, or using a "gray box" technique that permits the user to toggle between the new language and that shown in the printed SPD. Needless to say, having the updated SPD available online makes the restatement that much easier and less costly when it comes time to produce a new print version.
- The ability to have terms used in a website search produce SPD hits is extremely valuable to the user. This may not be functional if the only SPD version is a PDF file.
- An HTML SPD can also furnish a "printer friendly" option enabling a user to print only the content requested.
At MultiEmployer.com, we do all the heavy lifting. We do the conversion to HTML, the indexing of the Table of Contents, the internal linking to/from the various site modules. Once the site is launched, we even do the necessary modifications to keep the SPD and the rest of the site current and fresh.
The best time for a Plan to consider initiating or upgrading a benefits website is a few months before mailing out a new SPD to members. If your Plans are currently in that time frame, contact us for a free evaluation of your current website and/or a demonstration of MultiEmployer.com’s suite of electronic communication products and services.