Enrolling new employees is often a simple process but can have complications. As a Plan Administrator, the goal is to ensure that new hires are enrolled in a timely and correct manner.
The standard waiting period from an employee’s hire date to the effective date of their benefits plan is three months (or 90 days); this normally coincides with the employer’s probationary period. As an employer, this policy is yours to determine – it is your rule. If your policy is to wait six months before enrolling new employees or even a year, you may do so as long as the policy is consistent and ASSOCIUM and the plan carrier are aware. Larger employers may have varying waiting periods by class. Executive hires, for example may be effective on their first day of work.
There are other exceptions. For example, an employer may, on a rare occasion, request that the waiting period for a new hire be waived. We require that the employer submit a request in writing to that effect so that we can, in turn, inform the plan carrier. Otherwise, they will decline to enrol the employee outside the stated policy parameters.
An enrollment form submitted more than 31 days from a new employee’s plan effective date will be considered a late application and may require that the employee submit evidence of good health before qualifying for the plan. This can have serious consequences, as the employee may be declined due to a health issue that may otherwise have been covered under, for example, Long Term Disability.
This can be avoided by having new employees complete their plan enrolment form during the on-boarding process or on their first day of work. You can then submit it to ASSOCIUM to be embargoed until they are effective. If the employee leaves or is terminated before the effective date, you simply need to inform us. The potential consequences of a late enrolment are far greater than an unintended enrollment.
However, a request can be made to enrol a late applicant retroactive to their effective date and pay back premiums. For this to be an option the plan must be mandatory for all eligible employees and the request must be approved by the plan insurer.
These days of digital immediacy, there is little reason to not pay your benefits premium by electronic funds transfer (EFT). It is an inexpensive and easy way to ensure you are always up to date, and in good standing. Your billing, emailed the third week of the month, reflects the amount that will be debited from your account at the end of the month.
Paying by cheque not only costs more and can delay payment but there is always the risk of it not actually arriving. ASSOCIUM has had to become stricter on late payment, recently. Our policy is to suspend claims until payment is received if it has not been received in the office by 30 days from the due date.
Complete a Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) application, save the extra time and expense of printing and mailing cheques and avoid the risk of a late payment. We want to ensure you are never at risk.
ASSOCIUM Benefits is a very unique employee group benefits provider, focused on supporting benefits Advisors and their employer clients. We provide Brokers and Plan Sponsors with a range of solutions from traditional group benefits to more customized, cost and tax effective employee compensation. Let’s connect to find out how we can help.