We know it’s important for you to handle life events in a timely manner, without the hassle. With these improvements, making changes to employee benefits midyear will be more straightforward—whether your employee needs to update their benefits due to a recent marriage, or you need to make a simple correction to coverage. This article will take you through the updates so you know what to expect.
For a live demonstration and full breakdown of these updates, join Maxwell Senior Training Manager, Kaylie Bryslawskyj, on Monday, May 20 at 2:30 pm ET. Not able to attend live? We’ve got you covered. You’ll be able to watch the recording on-demand by following this link once the session is over.
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For a quick two-minute walk-through of these changes, check out this video:
New Life Event Workflow
With this new workflow, our goal was to make it as simple as possible for employees to request life events, and for you to review and approve those requests. We also focused on making it easy for you to create a life event on behalf of the employee.
How the new life event workflow will simplify your day-to-day:
- It’s now easy for employees to request a life event, update their information, and make any changes to benefits coverage in a single visit, without requiring that you make their benefits available for them. If they want to review their benefits, they’ll see their existing coverage already loaded in their benefits cart. They can simply make any changes and proceed to submit their enrollment!
New, streamlined workflow for employees
- As the Administrator, you’ll have greater visibility into the employee’s progress through the event—from login to checkout—with color-coded banners right on the profile. Plus, you can clearly see who reported the event, and any actions that you need to take. Bonus: this update also applies to new hire and open enrollment events.
- When you’re ready to review the event, you’ll be able to take care of everything in one single session:
- You’ll see the changes highlighted, and can easily approve or deny any new or changed coverage.
- As you approve the updates, you’ll be prompted to notify the employee—and don’t worry, we’ve provided an email template that you can use as-is or customize with your own message.
- The best part? For both new hires and life events, approving all updates processes the new coverage in Maxwell automatically, so you no longer need to do this one-by-one! Note: As a result, we’re removing the “Bulk Process” tool and associated logs with this release.
How to review a life event as the HR administrator
- It’s also now easier for you to create a life event as the Administrator. No matter the type of life event, you can invite the employee to log in and make their own profile information or benefit changes. If you’re handling all the updates on the employee’s behalf, you’ll simply create the event, and make the changes through a simple, guided workflow.
Sometimes employees need a little help getting started. Here's how you'll create a life event on behalf of the employee, but kick it off to them to review their profile information and benefits.
How to make all the changes on the employee's behalf
What if my employees are in the middle of an event when this update is released?
There are a few things you should keep in mind and prepare for before these updates are released on May 22 (or, after your annual open enrollment is over):
- If an employee has requested a life event, you should do your best to review it and (if applicable) open their benefits to shop for or make changes to benefits on behalf of the employee, before this functionality goes live. If you don’t open their benefits before this functionality goes live, you’ll need to end the event and have the employee request a new one.
- All “Administrative Change” events that are still open will be ended. You’ll be able to edit coverage or profile information using the new, simpler method described below.
Easier Way to Make Quick Corrections
Sometimes, you just need to make a quick correction and be on your way. With this update, you no longer need to open an “Administrative Change” to fix a mistake or typo. Find what you need to correct and edit from the employee’s profile, whether it's an update to benefits coverage or profile information. Or, if you need to make a few updates, you can do it all at once by clicking Make Changes and continuing on with a correction.
Making a quick edit to the employee’s date of birth
Making a quick edit to the employee's coverage
Redesigned Employee Profile Plus new Salary Effective Field
When you need to look up information about a specific employee, you don’t have time to look around for it. That’s why we’ve simplified the employee profile to ensure the important details that are relevant to you are more visible and easier to understand.
- A new “Benefits” tab replaces the former “Enrolled Products” and “Eligible Products” tabs. This tab is now front-and-center so you can quickly look up the employee’s benefits coverage. The coverage details are written in plain language, and covered individuals are more clearly presented.
And if you need to see what benefits the employee is eligible for, you’ll view a clean list with only the information that’s relevant to you. You’ll no longer need to worry about the individual benefit’s shopping status or when it’s available to shop. If the employee is in an event, you’ll have clear guidance on the employee’s progress through the event banner. You can also customize when the benefits are available to shop at the event level.
The “Employee Info” tab is now the “Profile” tab and has a new look and feel. Most notably, there’s a new salary effective date field that determines when the annual salary should be used to calculate coverage amounts and costs for salary-based benefits! That means you can add multiple salary records to an employee’s profile, and history will be tracked. A few notes:
You can edit an individual employee’s salary on the employee’s profile, or you can load new salaries and their effective dates for multiple employees using the Bulk Upload tool.
- Even better, you can enter future salary effective dates, which means you can update employee salaries on your own time when it’s convenient for you. Plus, you can run an open enrollment showing eligible coverage amounts and costs based on their future salaries when the plans are effective.
- The “Employer Preferences” have been updated to add a salary effective date rule. Here, you can select which salary should be used when calculating available coverage options for salary-based benefits. Options:
- Use what the employee’s salary was on the day that the plan year started. This is a good option if you don’t want salary-based benefits to update as you make changes to employee salaries throughout the year. Let’s say you have a plan year from 1/1/19 - 12/31/19 and you change an employee's salary, effective 3/1/19. This employee’s salary-based benefits won’t update to reflect the new salary until 1/1/20 when the plan is renewed.
- Use the employee’s most recent salary. This is the option you’ll want to go with if you always want enrollments to be in sync with the employee’s salary. If you select this option, you can then select exactly when you want those benefits to be updated. These options are the same as the options you have today, but they’re now based on salary effective date, rather than the date that you made the salary change.
- When this functionality goes live, your current setting under “Salary Changes” will be migrated over to the new setting. For example, if you currently have the setting:
Then your new setting will be:
If you currently have the setting:
Then your new setting will be:
This setting translates to what you had set before because salary-based enrollments will not be updated throughout the year if you update the employee's salary. If you'd like enrollments to update, you should change this setting to another option.
If you don’t have the setting selected today, you won’t have this set by default when the new functionality goes live, either.
- These new fields will also make Maxwell system reports more useful! You can expect the following reporting changes on May 22:
- A new “Current Employee Annual Salary” field will be available for all system reports that include employment information. This field will replace the “Annual Salary” field and populate the employee’s current salary based on the salary effective date that has been provided.
- All Pending Elections, Coverage, and Cost reports will now reflect costs and calculations based on the salary that is effective when the benefits represented on the report are effective. A new “Salary Basis” field will be available for these reports, which will tell you the annual salary that was used as the basis for these costs and calculations.
More Streamlined Process to Approve or Deny Coverage Pending EOI
We’ve built on the updates we made a few weeks ago to make it even easier to approve or deny coverage pending evidence of insurability (EOI). Any amounts that are pending EOI will now display right on the benefit, even if the employee is not in an event. When you’ve received the carrier’s decision, you’ll click Process EOI right on the benefit and be walked through the change. When you approve or deny coverage, you’ll be prompted to notify the employee with an email template that you can use as-is or customize as needed. Simple as that!
Pending coverage will be listed directly on the benefit in the employee's profile. Click "Process EOI Request" to approve or deny!
What Else You Should Know
A few more details about these updates that you should be aware of.
- Today, your Advisor can help you set up benefits to be “preselected” for new hires and employees during annual open enrollments. A “preselected” benefit is always added to an employee’s cart. Before, for new hires, the employee would not be enrolled in the benefit if they never logged into Maxwell and submitted their enrollment. Going forward for new hires created after this functionality goes live in your portal, the employee will be enrolled in any preselected benefits, even if they don’t log in unless they remove the benefit from their cart. This behavior is more consistent with how preselected benefits work for annual OE. We’ve also changed the terminology to better match the behavior and will now call these benefits “auto-enrolled” in the system. The redesigned employee profile will also provide additional context to the Administrator for any benefits that were auto-enrolled.
- With this new workflow, you’ll see that a benefit’s “shopping status” is no longer something that you need to keep track of, due to the visibility you have in the employee’s progress through the banner, and because you no longer need to process benefits manually. As a result, with this release, we’re removing the “Enrollment Status Report,” as well as the “status” filter from the Coverage, Cost, and Pending Elections Reports. If you’d like to see an employee’s progress through the event, you should check the banner on their profile, or the Enrollment Progress Dashboard.
- This is relevant if you have benefits with an EDI connection, or if you have an integration set up in Maxwell. Today, new hire and life event elections that have not yet been processed are sent over on an EDI or integration file, as long as they were in a “confirmed” shopping status. On and after May 22, elections will not send over on an EDI or integration file until you’ve approved the new hire or life event. We made this change as the behavior is consistent with annual OE, where elections don’t send over until you’ve ended the OE event. We also know that approving a life event will be a lot easier with this new workflow, so it shouldn’t cause any delay! Plus, we want to make sure you’re fully confident in the accuracy of enrollments before they’re sent over to the carrier or vendor.
- In an effort to simplify the employee profile, we’ve removed the dependent email address field, which is not a requirement for most carriers or vendors and cannot be entered by employees today. If you do have dependent email addresses loaded into Maxwell, we recommend downloading a Demographic Census Report before this functionality goes live.
- With the new life event workflow, are there any restrictions around when you can create a life event?
With the new life event workflow, an employee can create a life event that occurred within the past 30 days and an HR administrator can create a life event that occurred within the past 100 days. This ensures that life events are reported in a timely manner and don’t result in issues with the carrier. With this initial release, life events that are planned for the future cannot be entered.
- With the new life event workflow, did you make any changes to notifications?
While notifications were not the focus of these improvements, we were able to make a few small improvements:
- The "Change Reason" notification—which is sent once the employee (or Administrator) creates the life event—now includes information that a life event was requested, the employee who's experiencing the event, as well as a link to that employee's profile in Maxwell.
- We removed the “Member Info Modified while in QLE” system notification. This notification was sent when an employee completed their personal and dependent information after requesting a life event in Maxwell. With the new workflow, this notification is duplicative with the “Change Reason” notification. If you only have the “Member Info Modified while in QLE” notification set up in your portal when this functionality goes live, we’ll automatically set up the “Change Reason” notification in its place.
- Based on your feedback that this was unnecessary noise, you’ll no longer receive a notification that an “Administrative Change” was created when you have the “Change Reason” notification set to “All Change Reasons.”
In Case You Missed It
Did you know that we also made improvements to the employee experience earlier this month? A new benefits home page, enhanced shopping navigation, and a redesigned mobile app went live on May 6 (unless your company was in annual open enrollment that day). Here’s how to catch up on those changes:
- Read the release notes
- Watch the recorded version a webinar that dives into the details
- Watch a two-minute video of the new employee experience:
Have any more questions? We’re here to answer them! Contact our Customer Support team at email@example.com. If you have any feedback or suggestions for further improvements, shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.