Daylight savings may have passed, but Flock has raised our game in time for another flock-tastic product release. Packed with new features and enhancements, our latest update delivers more tools for both for HR Administrator and Brokers to more successfully navigate another open enrollment season. We encourage you to share your feedback or comments with us at email@example.com.
If case you missed our last release on September 26, 2017, click here.
Enhanced ACA Reporting
Flock has reported on behalf of clients since the beginning of ACA with 100% of all returns reported on time with the IRS. We are also an approved e-filing IRS vendor for the AIR system.
In this release, we have added additional user-friendly instructions, defined steps, and new helper text to better guide our end users. The entire 1094-C and 1095-C’s wizard process remains simple with only 4-steps to completion. The CSV sample files are now updated in excel to provide more comments and guidance to the HR admin for the data collection process. For more information please join one of our weekly ACA webinars by registering online at www.helloflock.com/webinars.
Voluntary Life Offerings
As employees enroll and elect their coverage amounts (if applicable) voluntary life product(s) there can be some underwriting restrictions placed on amounts which exceed a carrier guaranteed issue amount.
In our efforts to continually minimize user confusion and make the process more understandable, we have added clarity around these two amounts and how the cost per-pay-period appears for the end user- your employees.
During the enrollment process, if an employee selects a benefit amount above the guaranteed issue amount, we inform and drive the employee to complete & submit the evidence of insurability form ASAP. Additionally, we now display the estimated cost to the employee separately between “Approved” and “Requested” amounts.
As a reminder, once the requested amount is approved by the carrier, our HR Administrators or Broker Partners can go to the employee's benefits summary page and approve the additional amounts and carrier provided effective dates. This newly approved volume amount and new cost appear on the employee's benefits summary page and will also automatically report out in the new payroll change report. Easy peasy - the Flock way.
Benefits Summary Page (New View)
Flock is always looking for a way to improve the user experience and minimize mouse clicks and to clearly display information where it makes the most practical sense.
We have solicited feedback from our end-users and based on the responses we have enhanced and updated the overall benefits summary page view. Employees can now see a clearer display of their current benefit elections, dependents and beneficiaries. Additionally, we also show the effective dates for each enrollee/dependent and incorporate FSA - Commuter benefits as part of the current enrollment view. This new view is a side-by-side tabular approach and simplifies the process since these categories are so closely related to an employee's benefit selections.
Employee View - Organizational Chart
We noted this new organization chart in our last release and now we have released it from beta to be viewable by not only HR Administrators and Managers but now it’s also displayed to employees.
As a reminder, once enabled and each employee has an assigned manager within their profile, you can view a dynamic new organizational chart showing all the reporting relationships within your organization. We start from the top down and display one row of reports with the ability to expand or contract the display.
The view will display the employee any other(s) who report to them along with a contact email and phone number. You can also quickly see their assigned work location and hyperlink to their profile.
More Flexibility for HR Administrators
Most of our partners will renew the company sponsored benefit programs during Q4’17 for planned 2018 group plans. We understand that some employees may have circumstances which prevent them from enrolling online within the required timeframes for the company sponsored group health & welfare plans. This can be either a new hire (30-day window) or even an existing employee during open enrollment (most carriers allow for revised changes within 30 days).
As an HR professional, we put the decision making in your hands and allow you to reopen the enrollment window for any specific employee and for an amount of time you specify. This will allow for the employee to re-enter or make their selections from within Flock and updates the data for reporting to carriers and for payroll deduction purposes. If you are in doubt about carrier rules allowing for late elections, please reach out to your Broker Partner for clarification specific to your plan offerings.
Form, Forms, Forms, Underwriting Questions - Enhanced Mapping
Most of our HR Administrators and Brokers are aware that Flock can capture employee benefits enrollment data and map that to a carrier form, even their digital signature(s). Flock can support any new/existing cases with forms if needed or required by a carrier. Most of the time a change or enrollment form is required by the carrier if the size of the group is too small, or the carrier will not accept an EDI/API data feed from any benefits administration system. However, if your preference is managing carrier forms we leave that decision in your control.
Forms completed through Flock provide other unseen advantages compared to paper versions: employees can’t skip a required carrier field, the text is legible for processing, brokers and/or HR administrators are automatically notified via email and within Flock, along with reminders a form is pending and requires further actions. Finally, the forms can be downloaded into one ZIP file for processing directly with a carrier and automatically creates an audit trail for any discrepancies which arise.
If requested, our Customer Support Team can quickly turn forms on/off from within the broker portal. This is helpful for new carrier cases until an EDI or API feed is created, tested and established.
We have added new functionality to simplify the carrier form mapping and provide an accurate premium amount from within Flock:
The ability to map specific underwriting questions answered by your employees during the enrollment process.
To make reporting more simplified, we have added more automatic data grabbing enhancements from multiple caches within the Flock platform. We are constantly improving our reporting output by squashing bugs and adding small changes which result in big improvements for our HR Administrators and Broker Partners.
Here are a few which we believe will help smooth out Q4 season reporting:
- View Open Enrollment changes in an employee profile- change history tab
- Open enrollment reports and custom reports will download much more quickly
- Active Open Enrollment- will display changes between current year and next year plans
- Passive Open Enrollment- will display changes between passively mapped enrollments (default employee elections from the prior year, if any) and changes made by employees during OE.