Product Release | 05.15.17


Happy Mother's Day from our Flock family to yours!

We have been hard at work to make Flock the best HR, Compliance and Benefits platform and take the feedback of our broker partners and clients very seriously.   Below we will review the new features for this release.   Many of these new features do require you (or your broker) to enable these features.   If you need help, please reach out to your broker partner directly or our support team.

 

HR Administrator(s)

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Advanced Life Event Approval Flow
This new functionality allows for HR Administrators to pend employee requested Life Events and create a more formal internal approval process. All HR Administrators will have the ability to see a dashboard of Life Events requests and approve prior to the information being passed to a carrier or part of our reporting-out capabilities. The HR Administrators can also decide if they wish to require Life Event documentation to support the requested Life Event. If required, the employee will upload the required document directly into Flock during the workflow. Flock will automatically notify the primary HR Administrator(s) via email & as a “Task” of the pending Life Event request to either approve or reject. The primary admin can decide to reassign this task to another admin if they wish. Once approved or rejected, the employee is notified via email. The HR Administrators will have the option to add in a reject reason to include in the employee's email notification.

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Module Display On/Off
We understand that one size does not fit all and to that end, we have created the ability for the HR Administrators and Broker Partners to limit different views of the Flock platform. In our settings page, security & permissions section, you can now hide the “People” tab from your employees or choose to display/hide the org chart. HR Administrators now have control the payroll related functionality like “Direct Deposit” and W4/State tax elections when they are ready to transition their payroll onboarding via Flock. Furthermore, admins can now choose to enable the “Time-Off”or the “Company Calendar” independently or hide them both altogether. As we continue to introduce new functionality and modules, Flock puts the control in your hands, to display or not to display the module based on your culture and/or as the organization gradually introduces new functionality to their employees.    

Life Insurance Age Reduction Support
We now offer enhanced support functionality to identify employees who meet a certain age limits (typically 60+ years of age) and are required by the carrier to pay a higher monthly premium, lesser benefit or both. Flock will recalculate the new rate/benefit for reporting- out or to carriers and we automatically notify the employee via email in case they wish to make a change to coverage if allowed (e.g. Voluntary Products). Flock also notifies the HR Administrators and Broker of these changes via email and the benefits/payroll change reports. Please note, this functionality is not automatically added and Brokers will need to update the broker portal for each client they’d like to add age reduction support for.

Old/New Data Reporting
Rather than just reporting out the changes within a single cell, you can now split the columns between “old” and “new” data in Flock’s change reports to further assist our Broker Partner and clients. If you need custom reports and/or scheduled reports which need further sorting and data manipulation along with individual columns you simply indicate it prior to running the report. Report on!

FSA Payroll Deduction Effective Dates
We have removed the Flock waiting rules on suggested payroll beginning dates for all FSA accounts established in the Flock benefits enrollment flow. We will now calculate the suggested deduction start date to be the next pay cycle from the actual effective date. We always report out the annual election which balances out to the suggested per-pay-period amounts and suggested effective start dates. The HR Administrators always has the discretion to follow Flock’s suggestion on the payroll report or modify it as they see fit (e.g. front loading the election based on an employee request etc.) Note that these changes apply to new employee elections.

Enhanced Open Enrollment Dashboard
Many have used Flock for open enrollment and now we are making the display smarter in identifying employee actions. Once open enrollment begins, the dashboard on the products page automatically changes from Medical, Dental and Vision to new open enrollment categories of Eligible, In-Progress and Completed. Prior you could see who is eligible to enroll. You click the number and with one click you can notify all that have not begun the open enrollment process. We have added that same functionality to the In- Progress and Completed dashboard view. Now our Broker Partner and HR Administrators can see the progress in real time and specific to the stages of the open enrollment. Did we mention you can remind each eligible employee to enroll in open enrollment with one click- it sends and email to each person as a reminder.

Day One - Benefits Enrollment
Many brokers and employers requested the ability to allow new employees to enroll in benefits prior to their first day of employment. New hires can now complete each piece of new hire paperwork digitally within Flock’s “Tasking” system and even enroll in company provided group benefit offerings prior their first day of employment. We will always adhere to reporting the effective date to carriers for all products built by your broker in the broker portal. So don’t worry, even if they enroll early, they will not have coverage until the waiting period has been completed. 

Benefits Tab
Flock has simplified the Benefits management for HR administrators by consolidating all the group benefits information into the benefits section under the top navigation bar. This will make this a single place to view all of your broker contact information, current and upcoming open enrollment benefit offerings, employee enrollment information, group eligibility groups and pending life events and enrollment forms (where applicable). 

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Settings - Department
Similar to pre-determined Job Categories and Work Locations, we have added the ability to create pre-determined Departments as well. On the surface it seems not much of a big deal right? But it is, by adding in this functionality it creates a robust validation process to ensure good data in and good data out of Flock. The Departments functionality auto creates a drop down for other HR Administrators to select. This will ensure no mistakes, no abbreviations and only Departments you create are the options to choose from. Please note, if you have already been using the department functionality, all departments previously created will be saved to the department area.


 

Broker Partners

Resignation/Termination Form Support
For forms based enrollments, Flock now supports carrier termination forms for submission by our Broker Partner. The same simple cadence, submit the carrier termination forms to support@helloflock.com and which fields you wish to map data. When a termination occurs Flock maps the employee and other dependents (if applicable) data to the form and automatically notifies our Broker Partner to submit to the appropriate carrier. Note that Flock will not support forms that require any signatures. Flock will continue to remind you until the form has been downloaded. 

Life Event Effective Date
Some Brokers Partners we work with have gone above and beyond in creating distinct Life Event effective dates. This helps the carrier(s) from the record keeping side and creates less payroll proration issues for their clients and their employees. Typically these are categories where coverage can begin at the first of the next month without disruption to the employee. Our Broker Partner will see all Life Event categories defaulted to the qualified event date (same day as it occurs) with the ability to toggle the category to the first of the next month as needed. Once these advanced features are enabled Flock reports out the effective date based on either qualified event date or first of the next month.

Waiver Forms Support
More functionality to cover all aspects of any forms based enrollment(s). You can submit required carrier waiver forms to support@helloflock.com to map valid waivers data to the form. Like all forms based enrollments, the Broker Partner will automatically be notified weekly regarding any completed and pending forms which need to be passed along to the carrier for processing. These forms can be turned on or off from the broker portal post open enrollment etc. 

Old/New Data Reporting
Rather than just reporting out the changes within a single cell, you can now split the columns between “old” and “new” data in Flock’s change reports to further assist our Broker Partner and HR Professionals. If you need custom reports and/or scheduled reports which need further sorting and data manipulation along with individual columns you simply indicate it prior to running the report. Report on!

Rate Calculation Flexibility STD/LTD
Don’t fret, we see different carriers and different rules on how to calculate the monthly premium amounts for the same or similar product(s). Flock now supports the ability where you decide how you want Flock to calculate the monthly premium. The most common, is to calculate the monthly premium based on the benefit provided. However, now you can also choose the salary based calculation. This will ignore the benefit provided and calculate the premium from the salary range or tier in which the product is being offered. This new functionality is asked in the broker portal when uploading a rate sheet.

Day One - Benefits Enrollment
Many Brokers Partners and HR Professionals requested the ability to allow new employees to enroll in benefits prior to their first day of employment. New hires can now complete each piece of new hire paperwork digitally within Flock’s “Tasking” system and even enroll in company provided group benefit offerings prior their first day of employment. We will always adhere to reporting the effective date to carriers for all products built by your Broker in the broker portal. So don’t worry, even if they enroll early, they will not have coverage until the waiting period has been completed. 

Enhanced Open Enrollment Dashboard
Many have used Flock for open enrollment and now we are making the display smarter in identifying employee actions. Once open enrollment begins, the dashboard on the products page automatically changes from Medical, Dental and Vision to new open enrollment categories of Eligible, In-Progress and Completed. Prior you could see who is eligible to enroll. You click the number and with one click you can notify all that have not begun the open enrollment process. We have added that same functionality to the In- Progress and Completed dashboard view. Now our Broker Partners and HR Professionals can see the progress in real time and specific to the stages of the open enrollment. Did we mention you can remind each eligible employee to enroll in open enrollment with one click- it sends and email to each person as a reminder.