Broker Best Practices when using the COBRA Data Exchange
Worth the read......
- Required Fields: MAKE SURE you know all the employee required fields needed by the vendor and set them as required fields for the employee in Employee Navigator. Anything “required” that is not on the employees record will cause an error which will result in the broker or HR to manually enter the COBRA event in the vendors system.
- Divisions: If the vendor requires division or you are having the vendor use divisions (or class, office, departments, business units) to separate billing then set that as a required field in Employee Navigator and if you add or change the division, MAKE SURE to let the vendor know so they can update their system.
- Sub-Group Billing: Although sub-group billing adds difficulty when setting up data feeds and possibly ongoing (we would advise avoiding when possible), we understand there may be a need. Most of our vendors accomplish this by using divisions. That is what their system calls it. But be mindful of what you have setup in Employee Navigator. Are you using departments or offices to accomplish sub-group billing? If so, let the vendor know. They have the ability to map but they may not know that you use department vs. division.
- Plan Changes: If you change a plan name or add a plan, MAKE SURE to let the vendor know. Often vendors map plan names so the name going over on the file matches what they have in their system. If changed or a new one added, they need to know.
- Termination Rules: MAKE SURE the termination rules in Employee Navigator match the termination rules with the vendor. If the vendor has term rules that coverage ends end of month after term but Employee Navigator has coverage ends 1st of the month following termination, the file will most likely error.
- SSN#: Validation is occurring when an employee is terminated with applicable dependents who were enrolled in COBRA eligible benefits. Termination will be prevented if a dependent does NOT have a gender, SSN or date of birth present in the system. Do NOT enter in an invalid SSN for the dependent (i.e 000-00-0000). Remember, if this information is not correct from the start and we have already sent the notice, we do not send it again - even if you update Employee Navigator.
- Address: Validation is occurring upon employment termination for clients who are connected to a COBRA Data Feed Exchange to ensure minimum required data is obtained to process Notices. Employees are required to have Address 1, City, State, and Zip. Remember, if this information is not correct from the start and we have already sent the notice, we do not send it again - even if you update Employee Navigator.
- Renewing Plans: Let your vendor know when you have renewed plans. We do not notify vendors of this so please communicate with them. The sooner they know you have renewed plans, they can go in and do any necessary plan mapping.