Open Enrollment is Over. Now What?

For many organizations, the end of the fourth quarter marks the close of benefit enrollment season. Congratulations, you survived.  But as you know, you aren’t done just yet. The new year brings new tasks and challenges for human resources. In this article, we will explore how benefit administration systems are taking away the pain of managing carrier billing, Affordable Care Act (ACA) filing, and qualifying life event management.

Tracking Eligibility Changes

Once enrollment has closed, employers take on the daunting process of reconciling new carrier invoices with all of the changes that were made. Benefit administration systems often include functionality that tracks and updates what changes took place, and automatically notifies carriers who then update billings accordingly. This creates a streamlined process for ensuring that the new year’s eligibility rosters are accurate.

Filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) Forms

The beginning of the new year marks the start of the ACA reporting process. Large employers are required to distribute 1095-C Forms to all full-time and participating employees by January 31st. Forms must be filed with the US government by the end of March.

Benefit administration systems simplify the ACA process by enabling employers to pull reports and forms straight from the system. Employers can use benefit systems to upload ACA forms directly to the IRS. Once filed, users can track the filing status and receive updates any time there are any errors needing attention.

Managing Qualifying Life Events

Outside of open enrollment, eligible employees are typically unable to enroll in new coverage or make changes to existing benefits, unless they experience a qualifying life event. Employees who experience a life event such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, death or divorce usually have 30 days to update their benefits and typically must submit documentation as proof. Benefit administration systems easily allow employers to manage qualifying life events, including the ability to upload the necessary documentation and tie it to the employee’s record.

Taking Some of the New Year’s Pressure Off

Open enrollment and the work it creates add to an employer’s heavy work load.  It’s easy to see why many rely on benefit administration systems to lessen the administrative burden. If you’re reading this and you haven’t made the leap to install a system yet – contact us and let us know you’d like to see a demonstration of how a benefit platform could make your job easier.