Handling New Hires and Change Events Around Open Enrollment

In Maxwell, an employee cannot shop for benefits due to an annual Open Enrollment, as well as a new hire or life event, at the same time. In this article, we’ll review how to get employees with new hires/life events added to your OE before you complete setup, and what to do once OE has been setup and begun.

  • How to include employees with new hire/life events in OE before you complete setup
  • How to run an individual OE for employees who are excluded from the company's OE
  • How to enroll an employee in two plan years of coverage due to a life event
  • Frequently asked questions

How to include employees with new hires/change events in OE before you complete setup

As you set up your OE, all employees who are new hires, in a change event, or have a future termination date will be listed under “warnings” in your OE Summary.

 
You'll also see new hires and those in a change event (other than "Administrative Change") on the Dashboard by clicking over to "Change Events":

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At this point, before you complete the setup of the Open Enrollment, you’ll want to explore your options for employees in new hires and life events. (We assume if an employee has a future termination date, they should not be included in the Open Enrollment.)
You should try reaching out to the employee and ask them to complete their elections before the OE is set up. Once they're done shopping, you should then review and approve the event before you complete the OE setup. That way, they’ll be removed from the warnings list and included in the Open Enrollment.
For life events, it's getting closer to the time you need to complete setup and the employee still hasn't completed shopping for their benefits, you can review and approve the event on the employee's profile in Maxwell. That will prevent the employee from shopping for benefits. After this is done, they’ll be removed from the warnings list and included in the Open Enrollment. After OE is over, you can kick off the life event again if necessary.

 

How to run an individual OE for employees who are excluded from the company's OE

Once you set up your OE, any of the excluded employees listed cannot be added back into the main OE, even if you do close out their event. However, you can run an "Individual Open Enrollment" for them so they can enroll in the benefits they're eligible for as part of the OE.

 
Life event
  1. Review and approve their existing life event. By approving the event, you're approving the changes to the employee's current benefits.
  2. You'll see an alert bar on the employee's profile letting them know that the employee is also eligible to shop for their future benefits due to their individual annual enrollment. Click Create Event to set up an individual open enrollment for this employee. Note: This banner will appear if the Open Enrollment was set up and has a start date within the last 30 days.

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  3. You'll see a pop-up that will ask you to confirm that you want to set up the individual OE. You can check the box to invite the employee to shop for benefits. This will allow you to customize an email to send to the employee letting them know it's time to shop for their future benefits. Click Create Event.

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  4. From here, the employee is set to shop for their future benefits that are available due to their OE! You can also shop on their behalf. When the shopping is over, review and approve the event.

 

New hire

Let’s say you hired a new employee on 12/1/18 with a 12/1/2018 effective date for 2018 benefits, but your 2019 OE period is 12/1/18 - 12/10/18 for 1/1/2019 effective benefits. Of course, you want to make sure this employee gets coverage for December 2018 but also has the opportunity to enroll during their annual OE. You should take these steps:

  1. Add the employee to Maxwell. The employee should now log into Maxwell and shop for their 2018 benefits. They won't have their 2019 benefits available to them yet.
  2. Once the employee has submitted their enrollment for their 2018 benefits, review and approve their new hire event. By approving the event, you're enrolling the employee in their 2018 benefits.
  3. You'll see an alert bar on the employee's profile letting them know that the employee is also eligible to shop for their future benefits due to their individual annual enrollment. Click Create Event to set up an individual open enrollment for this employee. Note: This banner will appear if the Open Enrollment has been set up or ended within the last 30 days.

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  4. You'll see a pop-up that will ask you to confirm that you want to set up the individual OE. You can check the box to invite the employee to shop for benefits. This will allow you to customize an email to send to the employee letting them know it's time to shop for their future benefits. Click Create Event.

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  5. From here, the employee is set to shop for their future benefits! You can also shop on their behalf. When the shopping is over, review and approve the event.

How to enroll an employee in two plan years of coverage due to a life event

Sometimes an employee will be eligible to change two plans year of coverage due to a life event. For example, let's say you ran an Open Enrollment from 12/1/2018-12/10/2018 for a 1/1/2019 effective date. The employee has already selected their coverage for 1/1/2019 and you've approved it. They also have current coverage effective 1/1/2018-12/31/2018. They get married on 12/15/2018 and want to update both their current and future effective benefits. Here's how you should handle this:

  1. Initiate a life event by clicking Make Changes on the employee's profile. The employee can also initiate this from their side.
  2. A pop-up will ask you to enter the type of life event and the date that it occurred. It will also ask you which benefits you want to update, the current ones or the future ones. Since you want to update both sets of benefits, you should start with the current ones. Select "Current" and click Create Event.

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  3. Current benefits will be available to review, but future benefits will not. Either you or the employee should review and make changes to their current benefits.
  4. When the changes have been submitted (or completed by you on the employee's behalf), you should review and approve them.

  5. You can then initiate another life event, but select "Future" when asked what benefits you want to update.

  6. Future benefits will now be available to review. Either you or the employee should review and make changes to their future effective benefits.

  7. When the changes have been submitted (or completed by you on the employee's behalf), you should review and approve them.

FAQ

  1. My employee is in Open Enrollment, but a life event came up that he needs to submit in Maxwell. How do they submit the life event and enroll in benefits they're currently eligible for while they're in OE?
    You will need to wait until your company's Open Enrollment period has ended for the employee to submit the life event, or for you to submit it on their behalf. 

This is the process for Open Enrollments that were started on or before 5/22/19: 

How to get employees with new hires/change events included in OE before you complete setup

As you set up your Open Enrollment, all employees who are new hires, in a change event, or have a future termination date will be listed under “warnings” in your OE Summary.

 
You'll also see new hires and those in a change event (other than "Administrative Change") on the Dashboard by clicking over to "Change Events":

QLE_toggle.gif
 
At this point, before you complete the setup of the Open Enrollment, you’ll want to explore your options for employees in new hires and change events. (We assume if an employee has a future termination date, they should not be included in the Open Enrollment.)
  1. First, you can try reaching out to the employee and ask them to complete their elections before the OE is set up. Once they're done shopping, you should then process products before you complete the OE setup. That way, they’ll be removed from the warnings list and included in the Open Enrollment.
  2. If they’re a new hire, you can choose not to include them in the OE, and send them a welcome email after OE is over.
  3. If it's getting closer to the time you need to complete setup and the employee still hasn't completed shopping for their products due to a change event, you can click End this Event on the employee's profile in Maxwell. That will change any products from "Open" to "Closed" and end the opportunity for the employee to shop due to this event. After this is done, they’ll be removed from the warnings list and included in the Open Enrollment. After OE is over, you can kick off the change event again if necessary.

What to do about new hires/change events once you’ve completed setup/OE has begun

Once you complete setup of your Open Enrollment, any employees you were warned about on the Open Enrollment Summary draft will now be listed as excluded.

 
At this point, any of the excluded employees listed can NOT be added back into the Open Enrollment, even if you do close out their event. Here’s what to do if change events and new hires happen after you’ve set up your OE.

If one of your employees experiences a life event after you’ve set up OE/during OE. During OE, the employee can change their future elections and associated details, as well as their personal information. If they need to change their current coverage, they may try to request a change. They’ll see the following message:

 
If the employee comes to you outside of Maxwell and would like you to make changes, we recommend that you ask the employee to finish their annual OE shopping and submit their qualifying life event once the OE period is over.

If you must, you can make changes in their employee profile on their behalf. During OE only, if you click Edit Info on the “Employee Info” tab or edit products on the “Eligible Products” tab, you will be able to do so without needing to identify a change reason. The system will know the employee is in Open Enrollment and allow you to do this.

If you hire an employee after you’ve setup OE/during your annual OE period. Let’s say you hired a new employee on 12/1/18 with a 12/1/2018 effective date for 2018 products, but your 2019 OE period is 12/1/18 - 12/10/18 for 1/1/2019 effective products. Of course, you want to make sure this employee gets coverage for December 2018 but also has the opportunity to enroll during their annual OE. You should take these steps:

  1. Add the employee to Maxwell, but do not send out a welcome email.
  2. Go to the new employee's "Eligible Products" tab and change the "Shopping Status" to "Closed" for any future (2019) products. Leave only the current (2018) products in an "Open" or "Selected" status.

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  3. Now, you can send the welcome email to the employee using the "Send Communications" tool. You may want to modify the email to include information letting them know they'll need to go through the shopping experience twice since your company is currently in an annual OE period (once for each set of products - 2018 and 2019 separately).
  4. The employee should now log into Maxwell and shop for their 2018 products. Once the employee has finished shopping for 2018 products, process their elections to close out their new hire enrollment.
  5. Now, take steps to end the event and set up OE for the employee (see below).

How to run OE for a previously excluded employee

As much as is possibly in your control, you want to include every eligible employee you can in the Open Enrollment event. Although not ideal, if the employee is excluded due to a new hire or change event, and you need to run a separate OE for them, it can be done. Follow the steps below:

  1. First, you'll go to the employee's profile in the Admin view and click End this Event.

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  2. Now, go to the employee's "Eligible Products" tab and select all of the 2019 products and click Bulk Edit.
    • When you click Bulk Edit, you'll be asked to enter a change reason. Enter "Administrative Change."
    • Change the "Shopping Status" to "Open" and set the "Available to Shop" dates according to your annual OE (today's date as the "Start Date" and the annual OE end date as the "End Date"). Set the "Effective Date" according to your annual OE.
    • Note: At this point, the employee won’t be officially part of the 2019 Open Enrollment, so they may see some differences in experience. For example:
      They may need to request a change event to update their personal information or dependent information
      They cannot shop passively for any 2019 products
      Any forms encoded to populate “Open Enrollment” as the reason for the form would not auto-populate
  3. When you're done setting up the products, click Done in the employee's profile in the Admin view.

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  4. You can now send a follow up email to the employee. Remind them they now need to select the OE products for the new plan year (2019).
  5. Have the employee now log back into Maxwell and go through and select their future 2019 products.
  6. When the OE period ends, process the employee's products in bulk.
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