Does open enrollment for your Human Resources department seem like “Nightmare on Employment Street?” Our first post listed five practical tips to streamline the open enrollment period for annual benefits. Check out these five additional best practices to chase the confusion away:
1. Make sure you provide all of the data requested by your claims administrator.
Inaccurate or incomplete data can result in time-consuming, frustrating mistakes. Remember to enter information exactly as provided in previous enrollments. Unique and accurate identifying information must be entered for each dependent.
2. Collect waiver forms from your employees.
For ACA reporting and Department of Labor requirements, you as the employer need to keep proof of waived coverage on file. Here is a Compliance Assistance Guide from the U. S. Department of Labor that offers more information. MedCost provides our clients with a generic form as part of our benefits’ services, if clients do not have one.
3. If you submit updated enrollment data on paper forms or by spreadsheet, information on new hires, changes, and terminations is all that is needed.
It may seem counterintuitive, but full enrollment data is not required and can actually slow down the input process for your claims administrator.
Note: This does not apply to clients that electronically submit enrollment data via 834 transaction.
4. When open enrollment is over, it’s over—no extensions.
Stick with the open enrollment deadline you set. Announce the deadline and remind employees of it several times during the open enrollment period. It is then the employees’ responsibility to complete the required enrollment process by the deadline. Remember, open enrollment is a finite time period, not an ongoing process.
5. Once you’ve collected enrollment data, submit it all at one time.
Submitting information piecemeal or in multiple spreadsheets that have to be merged or compared to previous submissions only increases the chance for errors. Avoid confusion with one complete submission of enrollment data.