3-5 years of experience
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Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Benefits Specialist
(This job is no longer available)
Chicago Public Schools | Chicago, IL
Grad Date

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Job Description

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States, serving over 360,000 students in 600 schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission we make three commitments to our students, their families and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability and integrity. Five core principles are embedded within these commitments - high quality, rigorous instruction, talented and empowered educators, safety and support, financial stability and collective impact.

Job Description:

We are seeking a self-starter with excellent customer service, critical thinking and problem-solving skills to join the Talent Office as a Benefits Specialist. Reporting to the Director of Benefits & Compensation, the Benefits Specialist will support the administration and operations of CPS' $350M healthcare plans and $1.67B retirement program.

The Benefits Specialist is expected to successfully oversee and/or perform the following responsibilities:

* Partner with the Human Resources Contact Center to respond to benefits inquiries and issues providing courteous, accurate, responsive and timely service

* Serve as a primary point of contact for staff, vendors and brokers to facilitate the resolution of staff inquiries and issues

* Process benefits enrollment, appeals and manage plan verification processes

* Resolve claim/billing discrepancies and process benefits refunds and recoups as needed

* Pursue and implement innovative ideas and methods to drive behavioral changes and engagement with benefits plans and services to improve staff health and wellness

* Identify, recommend, and implement operational improvements to streamline internal processes, increase efficiency and improve vendor performance

* Analyze benefits experience for cost-control and risk assessment factors and provide recommendations to improve the portfolio of benefits and services

* Aid in the facilitation of the annual benefits renewal and open enrollment processes

* Assist with the procurement process including the solicitation and evaluation of proposals, vendor presentations, and the compilation of materials for senior leader and board approval

* Review and reconcile employer invoices and records as required to facilitate accurate and timely delivery of payments, employee contributions, etc.

Assist with the ideation, creation, execution and evaluation of benefits communication and educational programs for CPS staff.

* Develop, monitor, update and maintain benefits content on the HR4U intranet and other applicable benefits websites

* Partner with vendors to develop and deliver communications, education materials, tools and guidelines to drive employee plan utilization and improve preventative healthcare plan usage

* Track and monitor employee engagement with benefits communications and tools and recommend changes to meet targeted goals

* Coordinate, organize and execute logistics for staff benefits fairs, orientation, presentations and events

Ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, Board policies and labor contracts related to benefits administration.

* Partner with Payroll, Finance & Accounting to manage the process for benefits forecasting, budgeting and invoice payment

* Assist in the preparation of annual regulatory filings and data compilation for annual audits

* Collect and compile data for compliance and legal related inquiries

* Stay abreast of emerging government regulations and evaluate and recommend appropriate responses and changes to internal policies

* Prepare, obtain and submit necessary documentation for qualified plans for IRS and ERISA mandated submissions

* Ensure claimant and staff information and records are kept confidential and handled in compliance with HIPAA

* Perform audits and compliance reviews to ensure data integrity and resolve errors

Assist with HRIS system updates, testing and maintenance to support plan administration and open enrollment processes.

* Monitor vendor integration and eligibility feeds to ensure accurate data transmission and record-keeping

* Collaborate with HRIT, Workforce Analytics, and other departments as necessary to resolve system errors and ensure data integrity and accuracy

* Performs other duties as assigned

Type of Education Required:

* Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in Business, Human Resources, or a related field

* HR Certification: PHR/SPHR, SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP, and/or CEBS preferred

Type of Experience Required:

* Minimum of 3 years of experience in benefits in a complex, large-scale and fast-paced environment

* Strong working knowledge of state and federal laws related to benefits including but not limited to COBRA, HIPAA, ERISA, GINA, Section 125, etc.

* Ability to research, analyze and present data and recommendations in an organized and logical manner

* Exceptional customer service, interpersonal, and verbal and written communication skills

* Demonstrated ability to handle difficult and sensitive employee situations while maintaining confidentiality and adherence to HIPAA and data privacy laws and policies

* Ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects and work effectively with minimal supervision while adhering to strict deadlines

* Experience in program and/or project management and proven ability to own tasks from ideation to execution and evaluation

* Demonstrated skills in the development and maintenance of effective working relationships with all levels of staff, governmental agencies, and labor unions

* Exceptional attention to detail and ability to produce high-quality work

Residency Requirement:

As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of his or her CPS hire date and maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.