Human Resources
Thought Leadership

Conducting a Successful Dependent Audit: Top 10 Tips for Employers


1. Select a qualified partner that has experience and a demonstrated track record. You also want to an organization that is a good cultural fit, can deliver superior customer service to your employees, and will deliver financial results that are actionable.

2. Spend the necessary time with your partner to develop your unique implementation strategy. Customize and configure your systems so that you are in the best position possible for achieving a successful audit outcome. The planning that occurs during the implementation phase of the audit is just as important as the audit itself, so don't cut corners!

3. Take every opportunity to lay the proper groundwork with internal and external constituents to avoid misunderstandings and conflict during the audit.

4. Design your communications campaign in a manner that clearly embraces your objectives. Focus on why this audit is critical to the overall well-being of the health plan and your company, which in turn makes it equally important to each employee.

5. Communicate as often as possible to employees about where they stand with audit completion, what remains outstanding, and remember that hand-holding during an audit, to a degree, is okay as it involves your most valuable assets ??? your employees. Adopting a caring and educational approach to the communications content prior to and during the audit will make the experience easier for every employee. Your solution should provide around-the-clock employee access via the Web.

6. Allow your employees time to successfully complete the audit. It takes time to acquire government-issued documents. Rushing through the process creates additional anxiety and can result in a larger percentage of your employees not completing the audit or even responding. It is critical a high percentage of your employees participate in and complete the audit.

7. Be sure someone in your company is updated on the status of your audit on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your audit partner should raise awareness around any trends in inquiries or documents being received that seem abnormal and might require special outreach, intervention, or additional communications.

8. Once your audit is complete, offer an appeal or extension that allows you to reach out to those employees who still haven't completed the audit or have not responded for some reason. This is an act of goodwill and worth the effort when it comes time to remove these employees' dependents. It is human nature for people to wait until the last minute.

9. Follow through with your plan to remove dependents and stay as close to the original audit messaging as possible. If you waiver at this stage in the process, you lose the sense of importance and authority that you have embraced and instilled in your employees as the plan sponsor.

10. Close the communications loop with your internal leadership, your employees, and other constituents who supported this valuable initiative. Communicate the outcome of the audit and what it can potentially mean to all concerned, whether the benefit will be from a financial perspective, a compliance perspective, or to demonstrate your company's leadership and foresight in health plan administration. These are all good things!