The Plan Administrator
Being a Plan Administrator is an important job. Here, you’ll find the resources and support you need to administer your group benefits plan successfully.Sign in to Nomad
Welcome to your new role as a Plan Administrator!
As a Plan Administrator, you manage the employee benefit plan on behalf of your employer. You generally serve as the main point of contact between the Insurer, the group insurance Advisor, and your employer. You are also the main point of contact for plan members.
In this guide, we’ll review the key responsibilities of a Plan Administrator and walk through some of the ways that Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc. makes benefits administration easy for you.
Plan Administrators have many responsibilities when it comes to a group benefits plan, but don’t worry!
We’re here to help you navigate each one.
Manage Your Employee
Benefits Plan Online
Firstly, let’s talk about Nomad.
Nomad is a one-stop-shop for Plan Administrators with BBD. It provides convenient and secure online access and allows users to download essential resources and manage key information. From Nomad, you’ll perform all of the day-to-day tasks of a group insurance Plan Administrator. This includes updating employee information, downloading reports and invoices, and more.
Nomad is an entirely online group insurance administration system, allowing users to manage their benefits plan without the hassle of paperwork and with the ease and convenience of being able to do that anywhere or while on-the-go, such as from a phone, tablet, or laptop.
It is the responsibility of the Plan Administrator to keep the list of employees up to date. Employees who are not added and removed from the plan promptly may open you and your employer up to additional costs and potential liabilities.
When employees reach their eligibility date they will need to complete the Employee Enrollment Form to enroll in the plan. After that, you will then be required to add the employee to the plan from Nomad.
Ensure that eligible employees enroll in your benefits plan within 31 days of their eligibility date to avoid becoming late applicants, which can negatively impact their coverage. For example, late applicants may be required to submit medical evidence or back-pay premiums. This can have negative consequences for the employee that may affect their coverage or lead to it being denied entirely.
Need help with employee onboarding?
Secondly, It’s important to remove terminated employees from the plan promptly to avoid issues with continued claims and eligibility. Log into Nomad to remove or terminate an employee from the benefits plan.
Above all, keeping employee information accurate and up to date is one of the most important day-to-day responsibilities. You can complete all updates to employee information quickly and easily on the Employees tab in Nomad. Below are the most common updates to employee information that you’re likely to encounter:
- Beneficiary changes
- Marital status or name change
- Adding or removing dependents
- Salary updates
Plan Administrators are responsible for the accuracy of the employee information on file. This information must be updated whenever changes occur, as it is what will be used by the Insurer for everything — to pay claims or issue benefit payouts, for instance.
Accuracy of Employee Information
For example, many Life Insurance payouts are based on employee salary. If an employee’s annual earnings have not been updated since their last promotion or raise, their beneficiary may be paid less than they’re entitled to.
As another example, if an employee has divorced and remarried, but their beneficiary was never updated, their Life Insurance payout would go to the beneficiary on file and not their new spouse.
Things can get messy very quickly, but BBD is here to help! If you are ever unsure or have a question, your BBD Client Manager is an excellent resource. Your group insurance Advisor is another key contact and, when in doubt, an employment lawyer can help you deal with specific liability issues or questions.
Bonus: if your BBD plan includes Life Insurance through Empire Life, you have automatic access to a Business Assistance Program (BAP), which can connect you with an employment lawyer easily.
Invoices are issued monthly and payment is due on the first day of each month. You can always view your most recent invoice, as well as a historical record of previous invoices on Nomad.
To access your invoice, sign in to Nomad and click on Invoices & Reports. From here, you can download a copy of your most recent invoice as well as any other invoices from previous months.
Communicating excess and conversion coverage are two very important responsibilities of the Plan Administrator that carry potential liabilities for you and your employer if done incorrectly or not at all.
With any group plan that includes Life Insurance and/or Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance, there is a Non-Evidence Maximum (NEM), which is the maximum benefit an employee can have without submitting medical evidence.
When an employee is eligible for excess coverage over and above this NEM, Plan Administrators are required to inform employees of their eligibility. Employees may apply for additional amounts by completing a Health Evidence Form and submitting it to BBD. Excess amounts will become effective only after the Insurer(s) have approved the application.
Conversion of Coverage
Providing terminated employees with their conversion options is the responsibility of the Plan Administrator. Fortunately, we make this a simple process for you!
When employees previously covered under your group benefits plan leave your organization they lose their group insurance coverage. Plan Administrators must present them with options to continue those coverage options through other means.
BBD makes this process simple! When you terminate an employee from your plan, you’ll receive an automatic email notification reminding you of the conversion options available for that employee. As the Plan Administrator, it is your responsibility to inform employees of their conversion options and ensure they understand the necessary timelines.
If your employer has different statuses of employees (for example, part-time vs. full-time workers), it may be possible that not all employees are eligible to receive group benefits. To be eligible for coverage, an employee must meet the definition of “employee” in your plan, work the minimum number of hours, have completed the waiting period, and be actively at work on the eligibility date.
A group insurance renewal happens annually and is the process in which your Insurer re-evaluates rates based on factors such as demographics and claims experience.
Your group insurance Advisor will contact you regarding your renewal. However, there are certain steps you should take ahead of time to prepare yourself and your organization for a renewal.
Here’s everything you need to know about group benefits renewals