Between busy seasons and the never-ending to-do lists, it is easy to miss simple steps that can quickly become costly mistakes for employers. Take this moment to review a few commonly overlooked items when it comes to managing benefit plans.
Auditing Your Bills
It is important to audit your bills every 2-3 months. If there are discrepancies, it is the employer’s responsibility to report it to the carrier. Typically, carriers will only go back 60 days for corrections and credits. Make sure to look at premium amounts, any employee adds/terms, as well as dependent changes.
Make sure you are aware of eligibility changes in order to enroll employees in applicable benefits timely. Often, employees who change from part-time to full-time get missed as they are not “new” employees, and their enrollments slip through the cracks. Most carriers have a 30-day grace period for enrollments, and if the deadline is missed, the employee will have to wait until open enrollment.
It is the employer’s responsibility to keep life insurance beneficiary forms on file. When an employee passes away, the insurance company reaches out to the employer for the most recent beneficiary form. If you do not currently have those forms on file, now would be a great time for each employee to fill out a new form. Tip: Employees do not need a Qualifying Event to make changes to beneficiaries.
Most carriers offer an online employer portal that houses invoices and forms, as well as the ability to manage enrollment. These set-up emails come during the implementation process of the plan and are often overlooked.
Although these may seem unimportant now, by taking the time to review these items, you can save yourself time and frustration in the future. If you have any questions about your benefit plans or would like to discuss the topics above, please contact us!
Kelly Beeler is not affiliated with Cetera Advisor Networks LLC.