08.10.21

6 Must Do’s for Workday’s® Open Enrollment!

Bethany Barno Workday Consultant
We understand that Open Enrollment season can be a stressful time of year.

We are here to help you with your OE configuration needs in Workday, so you can focus on your employee’s needs. Below are some tips and tricks to ensure a smooth OE!

Click Here to see our multiple levels of Open Enrollment configuration support.

1. Benefit Configuration Health Check

Have you had the opportunity to audit your current configuration? You don’t want to carry existing issues into the next plan year, so this is a great first step in open enrollment preparation. This will help you identify existing issues with your current configuration and create opportunities to automate manual processes. This would include a thorough review of items including, but not limited to:

  • Benefit Groups
  • Coverage Types
  • Benefit Plans
  • Enrollment Events
  • Elections
  • Relevant Business Processes
  • COBRA
  • Dependents & Beneficiaries
  • Coverage Targets
  • Rates
  • Enrollment Event Rules
  • Evidence of Insurability
  • Earnings & Deductions
  • ACA

2. Reporting

Running some simple audits can help you find some common roadblocks to a successful open enrollment.

  • Benefit Group Audit – This report will reveal any employees in multiple benefit groups. When you run this report, you should receive zero results. If you do have results, there is an issue with your eligibility rules.
  • Benefit Event Status Report – This provides a list of any workers with outstanding benefits events. Open events need to be finalized before any employee can make open enrollment elections. To clear open events that workers may have forgotten about, run “Finalize Open Benefit Events”.
  • Dependent Demographic Audit – Are you collecting required demographic information for covered dependents? Auditing your dependent data can help you determine if configuration changes are needed to ensure you’re collecting information required by insurance carriers.
  • Beneficiary Audit – Review your beneficiary data to get a better understanding of where your organization stands in gathering this information. If your company is the agent of record for beneficiary information and you have gaps in your data collection, you can make beneficiary information required during the enrollment process.

3. Configuration Tips

Here are some helpful tips to make your open enrollment easier:

  • Consolidate where you can! For example, life insurance plans typically have an age reduction policy. Instead of creating multiple plans for each band, you can create one life insurance plan, then use the Age Reduction Policy functionality to automatically reduce the benefit at the appropriate time.
  • Calculated Rates vs Fixed Rates – Creating calculated rates that you can attach to applicable plans can make it easier for you when rate changes occur. Calculated rates allow you to swap out rates easily via EIB. This feature helps to reduce rate errors. Fixed rates are configured directly on the plan. If you are currently using fixed rates, you will not have the ability to update rates EIB. Using fixed rates is more advantageous if you have individual rates, which are common for global medical plans and some US insurance plans.
  • Evaluate your Business Processes related to benefit events. Business processes can be a great way to move away from manual, paper processes and streamline enrollment steps for employees. For example, Evidence of Insurability paperwork can be a very manual process for employees. Consider adding this step into the life event business process. You can include step-by-step instructions, links or forms for your employees to submit their paperwork.
  • Speaking of Evidence of Insurability, if you have People Experience enabled, you have an additional option to remind employees to complete their paperwork, Select Enable Evidence of Insurability Link checkbox and related Evidence of Insurability Link field on insurance benefit plans to display a home page card reminder that will be displayed for the employee 30 days after their election is submitted.

4. Integrations

You may have many different integrations with insurance carriers to manage. When prepping for open enrollment, keep in mind the following:

  • Adding or changing carriers and need a new integration set-up? It typically takes 3 months to set-up a new integration file, so it is important to engage integration support as early as possible.
  • The following actions will impact your file feeds. Ensure these are updated according to your carrier’s specifications:
    • Adding, removing, updating or splitting benefit plans
    • Updating Benefit Coverage Targets or Tiers
    • Changing deductions for non-health care plans affects payroll and third-party payroll integrations
    • Plans, Class and Account Structures based on demographic factors such as organizations or benefit plans
  • Typically, insurance carriers need your open enrollment file no later than the first week of December. Keep this in mind for your project timeline!
  • Have your notification preferences changed? This is a great time to review and change these settings.
  • No carrier or benefit plan changes? Altura offers support to manage and coordinate OE integrations even when no changes are necessary. We communicate with vendors and maintain vendor OE deadlines, requested temporary filenames and file scheduling changes, additional ad-hoc runs for OE file and blackout periods, and ongoing re-scheduling for the new OE year ensuring Production schedules resume smoothly.

4. Payroll

Make sure those deductions are correct! Benefits and payroll should work hand-in-hand to ensure a successful open enrollment.

  • New deduction codes may be needed for newly added benefit plans.
  • Updating existing Benefit Deductions with any new benefit plans, if applicable.
  • Modify the Run Category for any new Benefit Deductions, especially if you want to have benefits on paid leave, arrears for unpaid leave, and benefits on final termination checks, etc.

5. ACA Ties to Open Enrollment

When it comes to ACA, make sure that employees who averaged at least 30 hours per week are in the appropriate benefit group. This ensures they are offered the correct level of coverage. Also, don’t forget to update your ACA configuration to include any new earnings codes that count toward ACA hour calculations.


6. Testing

Once you have your updates configured, test, test and test again! Some configuration errors may force you to rescind Open Enrollment and start all over again! So, measure twice and cut once!


Need help? Reach out to our benefits experts today!

Filed Under Benefits Blog Technical Posts Workday