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  • Writer's pictureMike Riska

Master Your Voluntary Benefits Invoice: Pt 1

Managing a voluntary benefits invoice can be frustrating if you're not clear on how it works and how it's different from your other benefit invoices. This series of shorts will give you insights, tips and best practices for mastering your VB bill.

As a voluntary benefits broker and enrollment firm, we're elbows-deep in the details of VB enrollments and service every day. We're lucky to have a great support team to help our clients when they have questions or problems with their invoices. Still, we see the same kinds of issues come up again and again and a lot of them have to do with the ways in which VB invoicing is different from your other benefits invoices.

Here's the biggest difference: Your medical, dental and vision invoices are for next month's charges, but your VB invoice is for last month's charges.

Voluntary benefit carriers bill you in arrears. Sounds simple, right? But it's basically the opposite of how you're billed for core benefits and we see that simple difference cause all kinds of confusion.

Each month you're going to pay insurance carriers for employee coverage. Let's say you're paying your invoices for medical coverage and a voluntary short term disability plan for the month of April. You're going to pay the invoice for the medical coverage in March (in advance) and you're going to pay the invoice for the disability in May (in arrears).

The good news is that for the VB invoice you're only ever paying premiums that you have already collected from employees; you don't have to use any company funds for the advance payment the way you do with core benefits. But you do have to stay aware of the time periods for which you're being billed, especially if, like most people, you want to do this stuff once a month, all at the same time. In our example above if you're paying bills on April 1, you're paying the medical invoice for April but you'd be paying the disability invoice for March. Keep that straight every month and you're on your way to mastering your voluntary benefits invoice.

Next time: Burn your paper invoice

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