8 Things To Do Between Open Enrollment and the Start of a New Plan Year

Insight by
Michael LoVasco
January 7, 2021

Time flies between Open Enrollment and the start of a new plan year. HR practitioners typically have a lot on their agenda at this point in the year, such as budgeting, performance reviews, and merit increases. To top off the workload, elections captured during OE need to be processed and shared with your insurers. Here are eight essential tasks to optimize your benefits program and employee experience to ensure the new plan year begins on the right foot.

  1. Advertise plan changes: Just enough time passes between Open Enrollment and the start of a new plan year for employees to forget the changes you told them were coming. Ring in the new year with plenty of reminders.
  1. Review evidence of insurability requirements: Managing the EOI process can be an administrative nightmare. Your HR administrator, insurer, and payroll provider should have a game plan on how and when to start deductions for employees who have elected voluntary life insurance above the guaranteed issue limit.  
  1. Update plan documents: Now that elections are submitted, it’s the perfect time to update your SPD, employee handbook, and new hire guide for any eligibility, plan, or vendor changes.  
  1. Document your decisions: While it may seem fresh in your mind now, documenting your rationale behind renewal decisions allows for easy reference and comparison when planning for next year.  
  1. Update Finance team: No one likes surprises—especially accountants! Remind your finance team of the new post-enrollment projected monthly costs for the upcoming plan year. (For self-funded plans, send the IBNR report, too.)
  1. Double-check invoices: Set aside time to conduct a detailed review of your first round of invoices. Make sure your vendors are using the appropriate rates and headcounts for the new plan year.  
  1. Validate plan design changes: Ask your insurer to process sample claims in a test environment to verify  design changes for the upcoming year are coded and paid properly. This includes a check against plan summaries and SBCs.
  1. Conduct an election audit: Regardless of how you assemble employee elections—online or on paper—it is worthwhile to audit your files to confirm the right people are in the right plans. For example, if you offer an HSA, check carefully to ensure no one is enrolled who may not be eligible.

Completing these simple tasks will help avoid confusion and start the new plan year on a high note.

If you have questions, or need help tackling these priorities, contact us or connect with us on LinkedIn.

Michael LoVasco
Vice President
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