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Renewing benefits: Timeline & basic information

Once you have benefits with Gusto, you'll renew them annually during which time you can make changes to your entire benefits package—including the waiting period, your contribution scheme, specific health plans, etc. Here's an overview of what to expect during the renewal process. 

Note: This timeline may vary based on your carrier. If we request additional info from you at any point throughout this process, please respond quickly so we can make sure your benefits start on time. 

Step 1: Renewal survey

We'll reach out 3 months before your renewal (effective date) with a survey. Your benefits advisor will use feedback from this survey to make a recommendation for next year based on your company’s specific needs. Make sure to be as candid as possible, now's the time let us know if you're unhappy with your current coverage and want to make changes. 

Step 2: Carrier updates & documentation

In the 2-3 months prior to your renewal date, we'll be working with health carriers to get carrier-specific renewal information that has your new premium rates (which increase annually), plan changes, and anything else that the carriers need us to know about your renewal.

During this time, we're at the mercy of the carriers' timeline. When we have all the info we need, your benefits advisor will work with you on how to move forward.

Step 3: Recommendation

After we receive the carrier info and the feedback from your survey, your benefits advisor will prepare a recommendation for your renewal. You can review the recommendation from your Gusto admin dashboard. If you have any questions, your benefits advisor is available by phone or email to discuss the recommendation and/or any changes you may want to make. 

Note: If you’d like to make changes to our recommendation, engage with us early and often. The small business insurance market does not provide much time to make changes, so it’s important to use this time with your benefits advisor wisely with any questions and changes you want to make before you sign the contract and your package is locked for the following year.

Step 4: Plan Confirmation

1- 2 months prior to your renewal date, your benefits advisor will review your finalized plan offerings and send your company to a benefits specialist, who will handle paperwork with your health insurance carriers.

You'll need to review sign off on the final renewal package through your Gusto account. Once you do, we'll move forward with open enrollment for your team.

Step 5: Open Enrollment

We'll schedule open enrollment for your company about 3-5 days after you have finalized the selections with the benefits advisor. The open enrollment window will typically range from 4 - 7 business days depending on your carrier’s submission deadline and the size of your company.

All benefits-eligible employees will be prompted to go through open enrollment in their Gusto dashboard. This is their time to enroll, change plans, add/remove dependents, or waive coverage altogether. It’s important that all employees complete enrollment, as employee signatures and waiver reasons are required for carrier submission and approval.

Note: Even if employees plan to waive coverage, they must do so in their Gusto accounts so we have the waiver ready during the whole company's group submission to the carrier(s). 

Step 6: Submission to Carrier

As soon as your company completes open enrollment, our team will submit the paperwork to the carrier. Carrier processing time and approval typically takes 2-4 weeks.

Note: You may need to provide additional information for the carrier, such as workers' compensation details or a voided check, so be on the lookout for emails requesting documentation or clarification. Keep in mind this step typically comes with lengthy wait times from the carriers. Our team will follow up with the carriers every 3-5 business days and we'll provide timely updates as we receive them.

Step 7: Carrier Confirmation, Deductions, & ID Cards

Once we get confirmation of your benefits package from your carrier(s), our team will cross-reference employees' open enrollment selections against carrier records to ensure your team and their families are covered as requested. This typically happens very close to the benefits effective date (depending on how quickly the carrier moves). Once every enrollment and rate is confirmed, we’ll reach out to let you know your company has been approved.

After the renewal has been confirmed and the policy has started, Gusto will automatically begin taking updated deductions from any enrolled employees according to your contribution scheme and the cost of their plans.

We'll leave the deductions in your company bank account so you can pay the health insurance invoice amount directly to the carrier each month. If you switched carriers or added a new line of coverage at renewal, your team will receive their new ID cards from the carrier within 7-10 business days of approval.

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