Communications


Communications

Once the Benefits set up is done, the employees of our firm will be having Life events and enrolments on an ongoing basis; few participating will become COBRA Eligible, few will have enrolments to make within next 10 days, few participants will have to submit a certification in order to get his plan suspension cancelled etc. Now for these cases OAB enables the employers to send letters/reminders to the Participants. These are like mass mailers to the participants; with personalized benefits information to update them with some information.

Let's see few examples of the communications sent to the Participants.

  • COBRA Letters
    • Initial COBRA Notification Letter: sent on the COBRA initiation.
    • COBRA Termination Letter: sent when COBRA period is going to over.
    • COBRA Extension Letter: sent when COBRA period gets extended due to some reason.
  • Enrolment Letters
    • Initial Enrolment Opportunities Letter: notifies participants about the enrolment window with a list of Electable choices and rates.
    • Enrolment Confirmation Letter: notifies the participants about the enrolments opted by them; once the elections are saved.
  • HIPAA Letters
    • HIPAA Letter
    • HIPAA Dependent Letter
  • New Hire Letters
    • Welcome Letter
    • New Hire Benefits package
  • Other Letters
    • Certification Required
    • Legal Disclaimers
    • Address Updated

These are the few basic examples. We can set up hundreds of Letters like this based on the requirement of the firm. Few of the letters can be independent letters and some might be a piece of a big Kit; like we can define a COBRA Package Kit, with three individual pieces in it, one Initial COBRA notification Letter, Enrolment Opportunities Letter and a Legal Disclaimer updating the Participant about the firm. Now these are the three pieces of a kit.

How do we decide what kit to send and when? OK, first of all we know the reason of the Kit, so now, it’s time to figure out the instances at which the particular kit will be sent. Like a Confirmation letter will be sent only after the enrolments are saved. Again, we might not need it for all Life Events and Programs. We might need the Confirmation letters sent just for the Open Life Event for Participant who are in Retiree Program. Again, when do we want the Kit to be mailed? And what is the preferred delivery method? Should we send it through Post or should it just be sent through an email? A lot of questions, right? Let's learn it one by one while configuring.

Communication Types

This is nothing but a kit or piece. This is where we define a kit or piece, and add some details, that describes about the kit. See Figure 6.41 – Communication Types

Responsibility: HRMS Manager

Navigation: Total Compensation -> General Definitions -> Additional Setup -> Communication Types


(Figure 6.41 – Communication Types)

 

Steps: Create a new record.

Name

Name of the Communication Type

Short Name

The short name of the Communication Type

Kit Information

The type of the Communication. If it’s a piece or a kit. If it’s a chosen as a kit, then the comprising pieces can be seen as children to the Kit in the View Children button. If it’s a Piece, then the Kit name can be added in the Kit Name field.

Inspection Required

Check this, if an inspection is required before sending the Kit.

Inspection Required Rule

This rule returns a Yes / No; whether inspection is required or not.

Always Send

Check this flag, if we want the communication type to be sent, whenever it is triggered; without any check on usages. We will learn about them going forward.

Max Number Available

This field tells the system, the maximum number of times the communication can be sent to a particular person.

Communication Type

This is another level of available restriction; the FF returns Y/N. If it’s an N, the Communication is not sent.

Usage

One of the suitable Usages can be selected from the list. It's more useful in SSHR.

Recipient Code

The type of recipient can be chosen here. If selected, the Communication will be sent to only those Recipients.

Description

A description of the Communication type. 

 

The basic Communication type is defined. Now, it’s time to tell the system more about the Kit.

To Be Sent Date

The "To be sent date" is the one that decides the date on which the kit has to be mailed. That date is different than the date on which it is being triggered. There is a difference. Let's take an example, Joe had a Baby as of 15th of January, he called up the HR Benefits Administrator Team as of 20th and updated them about the latest addition to his family. They processed the "Gain a Child" Life Event as of 20th with an effective date of 15th. The Enrolment window opened as of 20th and stayed till 30th January. Joe went and made an election as of 20th itself. The "Confirmation of Enrolment" is triggered as of 20th, because that’s the date on which the election is made; however we do not want the kit to be mailed until 30th, as we never know, if Joe would be interested to change his enrolments again, within the window period. So here, the trigger date is 20th January; however it will be mailed only on 30th, which is the “To Be Sent Date”.


Communication Type Usages

It is time to define the conditions with which the communication will be triggered. We can select as many conditions as we want and put them as usages. Any one of the conditions pass, the communication will be triggered. One condition can be a combination of the following seven criteria:

  • Life Event
  • Program
  • Plan
  • Plan Type
  • Enrolment Period
  • Action
  • Usage Rule


(Figure 6.42 – Communication Usages)

We can choose one or more criteria to make one condition, and attach more than one condition to a Communication type. For a Participant to get the Communication type has to pass one of the given conditions. See Figure 6.42 – Communication Usages.

If we think more about Joe's case, the "Confirmation of Enrolment" letter can have a row like: 

  • Life Event: Gain Child
  • Program: Employee Active Program
  • Plan: NULL
  • Plan Type: NULL
  • Enrolment Period: NULL
  • Action: NULL
  • Usage Rule: NULL

Now, if Joe passes this condition, he gets the kit, else he has to pass any other condition (if any) attached to the Kit. To configure the Usages, click on Usages Button on the Communication Types Form.


Communication Type Triggers

Triggers are the handle on the Communication Types, which decide the event at which the Kit will be triggered. Let's go to examples, it will make the concept clearer. We might use "Final Confirmation Literature - Close Enrollment" for a "Confirmation of Enrolment" Kit; because it will make the kit trigger once the enrolment is closed. Similarly, "Pre Enrollment Literature - BENMNGLE- Enrollment Window Opened" can be used for the "Initial Enrollment Opportunities" Letter.


(Figure 6.43 – Communication Triggers)

If we wish to enable the Participants to resend/request a Kit from SSHR, then we must include "On-Line Participant Based Literature Requests - On-Line Request" or "On-Line PSR Based Literature Requests - On-Line Request" in the triggers list to enable that functionality.

If none of the Triggers satisfy the business condition, we can use a Trigger rule instead of / along with a code. The Triggers can be defined in the Triggers button on the Communication Types Form.

 

Delivery Methods

Delivery method, as the name suggests tells the system how to send the triggered Kit. There are many ways right; Email, Postal Service or Voice Mail etc. However every participant can set up a preferred delivery method in their "Communication Delivery Method". We can find that field in the People Form -> Others -> Communication Delivery Method. Every kit can have its own delivery method too. This is how, we define it.

Method

Delivery Method Type

Default

Check this if we want the Person's Preferred Delivery method to be used as the method; however if no Delivery method is found for the person, it should use this as the default.

Required

Check this if we want to ignore person's preference and use this as the mandatory Delivery Method.

Inspection Required

Check this, if an inspection is required before sending the Kit.

Delivery Medium

The Delivery Medium can be based on the Method. It can be a diskette / paper / EDI etc. Similar to the Delivery Method, the Default and Required Flags are used to enforce/neglect the Person's preference.