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Open Enrollment: Using 3rd Party Apps

Best Practices and Strategy
Sep 13, 2019

The next installment of our Open Enrollment series provides tips for managing 3rd party app integrations during Open Enrollment.

Third party apps and integrations supercharge the Employee Navigator experience by streamlining your workflow. Integrations eliminate dual data entry and sync your payroll and carrier platforms with your employee benefits.

Things can get hectic during Open Enrollment, so our integrations teams had the following advice to keep everything flowing smoothly:

Payroll Tips for Success

Make sure your deduction codes are mapped
Are they the same for the prior year plans? Don’t guess—check with your client.

Create and add new deduction codes for new benefit plans
Your send deductions date Date that Employee Navigator will transmit all recurring deductions for supported plan types to Payroll. Pick a date to send all open enrollment elections and deductions to connected payroll vendor. Don’t pick an arbitrary date.

Properly select a Send Deductions Date
This one is a little complicated. The Send Deductions Date is the date that EN will transmit all employee recurring deductions for their OE elections to payroll.  This date has a few requirements to ensure deductions are sent at the proper time.  It must fall after last processed pay cycle of the old plan year, at least one day following the chosen OE Closeout Date, and Prior to the first date of the new plan year that the group will process payroll in which newly effective deductions are expected to appear.

Let’s look at an example.  This group pays Bi-Weekly.  Their first pay date of the new plan year is June 14th, and they process payroll on the 11th of June for that pay date, meaning all of their newly effective or ended deductions need to be sent to payroll well before June 11th if possible.  They have OE set to close on 6/1/2019.  We would recommend choosing a send date of 6/2/2019.  This will give the group 6 business days to check these deductions and ensure they look as expected prior to processing their first payroll of the new plan year.  It is highly recommended that your groups check these deductions after they are sent to be sure they are reflecting the new amounts and starts dates before they process.

Avoid accidental terminations
Are you using subscriber groups? When a employee transfers between a department or location, they move entities on payroll side but remain active employees. Often times, this isn’t communicated to the broker which results in accidental employee termination, which can lead to a lapse in coverage. Once the group terminates him from his original company, ignore the upcoming termination date and keep him active on Employee Navigator, which will keep him from losing benefits. That is the ideal outcome here, to allow employees to move around in payroll if need be, all while keeping them Active in our system when they are transferred.

Carrier and 3rd Party Tips for Success

Check carrier support article for Open Enrollment
Each carrier has an Open Enrollment section for specific requirements and behavior. For example, it’ll inform you of any blackout periods or if a census is required. Find carrier-specific instructions here.

Renew plans
Keep from rebuilding new plans as this is time consuming. When you renew, carrier structure elements carry over.

Audit demographic data
Certain bits of demographic information must be present on an employee’s record in order to connect to a 3rd party system. Run an ad-hoc report to make sure all of those fields are populated to avoid issues during enrollment.