A lot of work goes into providing employee health benefits. You need to select the right benefit options, a process that involves finding the best coverage for the best price. You also need to guide employees through the enrollment process. Once you’ve done that, you might think that the work is done, but there are ongoing tasks that need your attention as well. This includes paying and auditing the company’s health insurance invoices.

Invoices are important. If you don’t pay, coverage can be affected. If you pay for people who are no longer employees or COBRA participants, you cost the company a lot of money that you may not be able to recoup.

Whether you’re an employer or a third-party administrator, here are three things to do when you receive your health insurance invoice each month.

1. Audit Your Employee Benefit Invoices

Even if you’ve set up recurring payments, you’ll still want to check the invoices regularly.

Most businesses experience turnover, and the larger the company is, the greater the number of employees who may be coming or going in any given month. It’s important to audit your health plan invoices to make sure that the amounts are correct.

Be extra careful about auditing the first invoice after open enrollment selections went into effect. If there are any problems or discrepancies, you want to address then immediately.

Throughout the year, continue to audit the invoices as you receive them. Talk to the plan provider to find out when additions and terminations will be updated in the system. Then check the invoice to verify that this happens when it’s supposed to. This way, both you and the insurance company will be on the same page, and you can avoid discrepancies, disputes and confusion.

2. Make Your Premium Payments

Late premium payments can result in a cancelation of the health insurance policy. As a result, employees may have their claims denied, leaving them with large—possibly very large—medical bills.

According to Kansas City Star, hospital employees in Johnson County say they paid their insurance premiums through payroll deductions, but the insurer never received premiums. Claims were denied, and one employee now has more than $100,000 in medical bills. A lawsuit has been filed against the hospital.

This is not a situation that any employer wants to be in.

To avoid late payments, it’s important to have a process in place for receiving and paying invoices on time. Setting up automated recurring payments is one way of preventing any payments from being forgotten or late.

3. Remember Your COBRA Enrollees and Retirees

Premiums for COBRA enrollees must also be paid on time. The process for COBRA premium payment may be very different, however, because COBRA enrollees may be using direct billing instead of payroll deductions and employer contributions. The same may be true for other retirees and employees who are on leave.

Every month, your list of active COBRA participants may change. Some are added and some are no longer eligible for COBRA. It’s easy to overlook COBRA participants who are no longer on COBRA on your health insurance bill. Therefore, it’s important that you have a process in place to identify COBRA participants who should be removed, notify your health plan and top paying for them. This one process has the potential to save your company a lot of money.

Premium payment management can be a time-consuming process for companies and third-party administrators, but it must be done correctly to avoid problems.

An automated COBRA administration system can help you keep track of participants and invoices. A Lockbox system can make it easier to manage premium collection. Learn more about Travisoft’s COBRA capabilities by requesting a demo or downloading our Buyer’s Guide.