Your next invoice is going to be wrong

The 1st and 2nd invoices after Open Enrollment all almost always wrong. Yep, always.

Well, for those of you with zero staff changes who you got everything done 60 days in advance of your renewal date, you are an exception to the rule.

Again, let me repeat, Your 1st and likely your 2nd invoices after Open Enrollment will be wrong.


First, a quick billing distinction

Most of your Insurance bills are generated in advance of their due date.  This is almost always the case for stuff like Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, and items considered “core benefits”.

Sometimes, your bill may be invoiced in “Arrears”.  It is a funny term, but it just means that an invoice is made and sent after your coverage has already been applied.  Often this is the case for “voluntary” or “worksite” products that are paid by employees.  Think Accident plans, Legal plans, Voluntary life plans, Pet Insurance, etc.

This may seem very simple, but it is always good to know each vendor’s billing practice before subjecting yourself to undue mental gymnastics when auditing an invoice.

Now, about that 1st invoice

Normally, somewhere between the 15th to 17th of each month, your insurance company will generate your invoice for the upcoming month. Get it quickly.

Time is not to be wasted, most vendors won’t let you make retroactive changes, so making sure everything is rectified within the 1st 30 days after Open Enrollment is crucial in case you have some actual errors on your end.

Once you have that invoice, you will need to make some kind of comparison to note your billed dollar amounts versus the elections each employee made during their Open Enrollment elections.

This can be tedious, but here are 5 simple things to help.:

  1. Chances are, someone kept an Open Enrollment log in Excel or a Google Sheet, start there, don’t reinvent the wheel.
  2. If your insurance invoice is available in a downloadable  Excel or PDF, start with the online version–not the paper version.
    • If only a PDF is available,  convert your downloaded invoice to Excel using something like Adobe, NitroPDF,  Nuance pdf software conversion tools.
    • Note:  If using an online tool, pay attention that you aren’t uploading PHI or HIPAA protected info
  3. If you are doing it “Old-School” and you are comparing paper invoices to Paper enrollment forms, just don’t multi-task.
  4. Ask a coworker to help, divide the list and proof your audit.
  5. Don’t think 1 audit is enough, you need to do the 2nd month too.

If you are an Employee Navigator client, you are in luck.


The easy way:

  1. Login and navigate to the “Reports” Menu
  2. Look in the tile box labeled “Benefit Reports”
  3. Choose the “Carrier Billing Employees by Plan” report that is available on-demand to all users.
  4. Choose the correct date (Like 02/01/2019) if you are auditing February’s Bill
  5. Download to Excel and start highlighting each correct employee in Green and each error in Yellow as you compare the vendor’s invoice.
  6. Go research and make sure any errors have been rectified with the vendor in question

The easier way:

Ask your Account Manager or Broker if the audit has already been run and we can share the results.  We’ve already proofed these issues right after Open Enrollment as we know that trust in the software and in our firm can erode quickly.  That’s why we pay attention to this detail.

Note: if you want to do a full audit, including dependent info, use the “Audit Report”  that we have customized and put in your shared Reports section. If you don’t see it–ask and we’ll make sure you get access.



Bill Auditing with Employee Navigator, a video tutorial


Kristin Lilly

Kristin Lilly

Account Manager

About the Author: Kristin joined the AG team in 2017 after working as the Payroll/HR Guru at one of our client firms.  Her experience from an "end-user" gives our team an extra perspective on the products, services, and advice we provide.  And, she rounds out our trifecta of team members with a degree In Psychology from UT Arlington. 

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