Once the insurance carriers send us your renewal info and our licensed advisors prepare your options, we email benefits admins when it’s time to start choosing your company’s renewal plans in Gusto.
Here’s what you can do directly in Gusto:
- View changes to your current plans (insurance carriers update their plans and rates every year)
- Renew with your current carrier
- Choose an alternate plan package
- Change the company contribution or new hire waiting period
- Add new benefits
Before you start, here are some FAQs to consider:
Why can't I choose my old plan? Most medical insurance carriers make changes to their plan deductibles and copays each year. If you're ok with the changes, you can renew with this default plan. If you aren't, you can explore other options.
How many plans can I offer? Carriers have different rules about the amount of plans you can offer—we recommend choosing up to 4 plans to make enrollment easier on your team.
What types of benefits can I offer? You can offer medical, dental, vision, basic life, short-term disability, long-term disability, HSAs, FSAs, DCFSAs, and commuter benefits.
Step 1: Head to your renewal dashboard
Sign in to your Gusto admin account.
- Go to the Benefits section.
- If your renewal info is ready, you’ll see a tile at the top of your page that says “Select renewal plans by [date].” Click Select plans.
- The selection deadline is to help keep your open enrollment on track and meet carrier deadlines.
- Click Let’s get started.
- The next page lists each line of coverage that’s up for renewal. Choose one to start with and click Select plans.
Step 2: Review what’s changing
Insurance carriers update their plans and rates every year. The “Review what’s changing” page shows you:
- A summary of the premium changes.
- The successor to each plan your company currently offers. A successor is the plan designated by the carrier as most similar to last year’s.
How to dive into the details:
- Click Download plan details for a summary of the renewal plans’ coverage and premiums. Any changes compared to last year’s plan are listed next to the main column with an up or down arrow, indicating an increase or decrease.
- Click on a plan name to view its new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).
- To view an expiring plan’s SBC, click the i icon next to a plan name.
Once you review the changes, here’s how to proceed:
- If you’re ready to renew with the new versions of your current plans, click Keep default plans. Skip to step 4 below.
- To see more options, click Explore alternate packages. (You can still choose the default plans later.)
Step 3: Review alternate packages
On the “Pick an alternate package” screen, your advisor has recommended a number of plan packages for your team based on your survey responses, company demographics, and carrier requirements.
How to review the plans:
- Scroll to take a look at each package. You may see the same plan more than once in combination with different options.
- Keep an eye out for each plan type (PPO, HMO, EPO, or POS) and its metal tier (Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum).
- Click the name of a plan to open its Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).
- If you want to compare the expiring, default, and alternate plans side-by-side, click Download spreadsheet at the top of the page.
- Want to offer a Health Savings Account (HSA) this year? You must offer a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to pair with it. Look for a package that has at least one plan with “HDHP” or “HSA” in its name.
Understand the numbers:
- Average premium per enrollee: this is the plan’s average monthly premium of all benefits-eligible employees.
- Employee premiums are often age-based and may vary as much as their ages do. You can download a detailed cost breakdown on the next screen.
- Want to try a different company contribution or see a cost breakdown before committing to a package? You can do this on the next screen—follow the steps below.
Proceed to the next screen, where you can edit the company contribution and download a cost breakdown:
- In the bottom-left corner of a package you want to proceed with, click Select package.
- To choose the default renewal plans instead: scroll to the bottom of the page and click Default renewal package. Click Select package.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save selection.
- This doesn’t finalize anything—it saves your progress so you can review more numbers for the selected package on the next screen.
Step 4: Edit the company contribution or new hire waiting period, see a cost breakdown
On the “Edit plan settings and review costs” screen, you can set the new hire waiting period and try different company contributions for the package you selected on the previous screen.
Pick the new hire waiting period:
- Click Select. The dropdown menu lists all the waiting periods allowed by your carrier.
- Choose your desired waiting period.
- Click Save.
Set the company contribution:
- First, decide whether you want the contribution to be a percentage of any plan that an employee enrolls in, or anchored as a percentage of a base plan.
- What’s the difference between any plan and base plan? For the examples below, suppose your company offers 3 plans—one Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
- Percentage of any plan: If you set the contribution as 75% of any plan for example, your company would pay for 75% of each employee’s total premium of whichever plan they enroll in. The company cost would be lower for an employee who chooses Bronze and higher for someone who chooses Gold.
- Percentage of a base plan: Suppose you set the contribution as 75% of a base plan and choose Silver as the base. The company will only ever pay up to 75% of what each employee’s Silver premium would be. If an employee chooses the Gold plan, the company covers what 75% of their Silver premium would be, and the employee pays the difference themselves. If an employee chooses the Bronze plan, the contribution goes further toward the lower-cost premium and the employee pays less.
- Enter the percentage you want to contribute to employee and dependent premiums.
- If you’re not sure what your current company contribution is, click Compare to last year’s selection.
- Click Save.
View a cost breakdown:
- Scroll down and click Download cost breakdown.
- A new tab opens with a summary of the selected plans, contributions, and each employee’s premiums.
- If an employee has ever added any dependent info in Gusto, those dependents’ total premiums are shown.
- Want to see a cost breakdown for different plans or company contributions? Each time you select a different plan package or company contribution, you can return to this button and download a new breakdown.
- Tip: save the first breakdown to your computer so you can compare it to other breakdowns you download.
- Generate a new breakdown for a different company contribution: go back to the “Review contribution scheme” section and click edit. Select and save your desired contribution. Click Download cost breakdown again. Employee and company costs totals will reflect the updated contribution.
- Generate a new breakdown with other plans: scroll down and click Back to package selection. Click Select instead for the other package you want to see, then click Save selection. On the next screen, click Download cost breakdown.
Proceed to the next screen:
Once you’ve selected the new hire waiting period and company contribution, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue. This saves your progress and returns you to the renewal overview screen.
Step 5: Renew, change, or add other benefits
The “Benefits renewal overview” screen lists each renewing line of coverage and any other benefits your company’s eligible to add. To change your selections for any benefit, click edit.
Renew other lines of coverage:
- For any other renewing benefits, click Select plans.
- Repeat the above steps to review changes and choose the renewal plans you want to offer for each type of benefit.
Add new benefits:
- Click Add plan to see plan options and quotes.
- To view a plan’s Summary of Benefits, click View full details.
- Click edit above the plan options to choose the company contribution.
- Life and disability contributions: these plans are non-voluntary, meaning the company must cover 100% of employee premiums and all eligible employees are automatically enrolled.
- To start offering this benefit at renewal, click Add this plan.
- To proceed without adding coverage, click Remove plan.
- Click Save & continue.
Renew, add, or change tax advantaged accounts:
- Existing tax-advantaged accounts renew as-is unless you make changes. Click Edit to change the company contribution or cancel the benefit.
- To start offering a new type of account, click Add plan.
- Commuter benefits: you can add commuter benefits now or any time of the year by going to the Benefits tab and selecting Commuter benefits.
- Health Savings Account: you must offer a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in order to offer an HSA. If the HSA section says your company isn’t eligible, go back to the medical plans and choose a package that includes at least one plan with “HDHP” or “HSA” in its name. Then return to this section and click Add plan.
Download a cost breakdown:
- Scroll near the bottom of the “Benefits renewal overview” screen and click Download cost breakdown.
- Tip: each time you change the selected plans or company contribution for any benefit, you can download a new cost breakdown. It includes costs for every benefits-eligible employee for each type of renewal coverage you’ve selected so far.
Step 6: Sign forms and submit your renewal choices
Once you’ve selected plan offerings for each type of renewing benefit, scroll to the bottom of the “Benefits renewal overview” screen and click Sign forms.
- Click the name of a document to review it.
- Click Sign form.
- Draw your signature in the box.
- Check the box next to “I agree to electronically sign this form” then click Sign.
- Once you’ve signed each form, click Continue.
Confirm and submit your renewal package
- Double-check the plan package you’ll be offering your team this year.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Confirm & submit.
- Our team starts preparing your open enrollment with the package you selected.
- A dedicated open enrollment specialist will email your company's benefit admins within a week to coordinate open enrollment timing.
- When open enrollment begins, all benefits-eligible employees receive an email notifying them to enroll in or waive coverage. This is their annual chance to enroll, switch plans, add or remove dependents, or opt out of coverage.