Configure the Benefits Module

Configure settings for the Benefits module on the Portal Settings page in HR Management.

You must Configure HR Benefit Codes in Vista and assign a Benefits Admin before configuring the Benefits module. In addition, you must assign benefit codes to benefit groups in Vista and then assign benefit groups to employees in order for those users to see benefits in HR Management.
Important: Benefits options become available to all users as soon as you enable the Benefits module, meaning that users can see module features before you have completed Benefits configuration. Therefore, it is recommended that you enable Benefit Test Mode prior to enabling Benefits functionality, as described in the following steps.

Only System Admins may access portal settings.

  1. If you have not yet assigned a Benefits Admin, select Admin > Admin Roles, and select the Benefits Admin checkbox for the applicable user(s).

    Benefits Admins have permission to approve benefit and dependent requests and qualifying events, set open enrollments for individuals or large groups, and approve benefit elections. See Admin Role Descriptions for more details.

    Note: Benefits Admins receive only daily notifications regarding benefits changes to prevent an excess of emails during open enrollment. The Notify Real-Time option shown on the Admin Roles page applies to Personal Info Admins only.
  2. Select Admin > Portal Settings > Benefits.
  3. Under General Configuration:
    1. Select Benefit Test Mode.
      In Benefit Test Mode, only the Benefits Admin can see Benefits options in HR Management. After you complete configuration steps, you can deselect test mode.
    2. Select Enable Benefits functionality.
      This enables the Benefits module (currently in test mode) and the following pages for the Benefits Admin: Benefit Assignments, Benefits Dashboard, and Benefits Requests.
    3. Optionally, enter a Default effective date for benefit requests. When approving benefit elections:
      • If the Benefits Admin selects one submission, the effective date defaults to the effective date on the Window Request.

      • If the Benefits Admin selects multiple elections with differing effective dates, the effective date defaults to the date entered in this setting. If this setting is left blank, the effective date defaults to today’s date.

      • If a benefit code has an eligibility period, and the employee's date of hire plus the eligibility period falls after the selected Effective Date, the effective date for that benefit code will be changed to the date that the employee becomes eligible.

    4. By default, employee effective dates update automatically in Vista HR Resource Benefits with each benefit window, even if employees do not make benefit changes in the portal. To have effective dates update only if employees make benefit changes, disable the portal setting Update Employee Benefit Effective Dates with each Benefit Window.
  4. Expand the Benefit Code Configuration section.
  5. Locate the setting called Input setting per Benefit Type, select the Edit button.

    This setting allows you to determine how each benefit type will behave in HR Management. For Example: Medical Codes may need a dropdown (Input Mode: A), whereas 401k should allow users to enter a percentage (Input Mode: P).

  6. In the Input settings per Benefit Type pop-up window, add and make selections for each benefit type. Be sure to save your changes in the pop-up window.
    • Benefit Type: Enter the benefit type name. This is the database value found in the VA Custom Field Combo Box in Vista. See Configure HR Benefit Codes for more information.

      Note: This code must be copied exactly as shown in Vista.
    • Input Mode: Select one of the following options:

      • Option Rate from Vista: Use if your benefit code has options such as Single and Family with different amounts per option.
      • User Entered Amount: Use if employees will enter their own amounts (typically for 401K).

      • User Entered Percentage. Use if employees will enter a percentage of their gross salary (also used for 401k benefit types).

        Note: If you give your users the option of doing a percentage or a fixed amount for their 401k, you will need to split your Benefit Code and create two separate Benefit Types.
    • Edit Mode: Select one of the following options:
      • Editable: Employees can make elections during an open enrollment or qualifying event.
      • Read Only: Employees can view their benefit elections but cannot change them.
      • Hide Options: Employees can view their benefit elections but cannot see or modify the benefit options.
      • Show Only Keep Existing: Employees cannot decline or change their selections.
      • Hide Keep Existing: Employees can confirm or decline selections but cannot select to keep their existing selections.
      • Hide Decline: Employees cannot decline coverage.
    • Allow Attachments: Select one of the following options:
      • No Attachments: Users can’t add attachments to their election.
      • Allow Attachments: Allow users to add attachments to their election.
      • Require Attachments: Users must add an attachment in order to elect the benefit.
    • Allow Dependents: Select this checkbox if dependents can be added for this benefit type.
      Important: To allow dependents to be added for a benefit, you must enable the portal setting Enable Dependent Updates in the Portal.
      Note: If this benefit type should have beneficiaries, do not allow dependents. Users will be able to select beneficiaries from their dependents list.
    • Allow Beneficiaries: Select this checkbox if beneficiaries can be added for this benefit type.
      Note: If this benefit type allows dependents, do not allow beneficiaries.
    • Allow Manual Entry of Beneficiary Names: This checkbox applies to benefit types that allow beneficiaries.
      • Select this checkbox to allow users to enter beneficiary names manually in addition to selecting names from their list of dependents.
      • Leave this checkbox blank to allow users to add beneficiaries from their list of dependents only.
    • Require Decline Notes: Select this checkbox to require users to add a note when declining coverage. If you leave this checkbox blank, notes may still be added but are not required.
  7. Expand the Vista Configuration section and determine whether to enable the following settings:
    • Log record of benefit request actions in HR Resource Employment History: Select this checkbox to log the following in your HR Resource Employement History: when users request a qualifying event, when an open enrollment window is opened, and when elections are made.
    • Frequency Code of deactivated deductions and liabilities: Enter a frequency code to use when an employee declines coverage or switches from one plan to another. The frequency code for the previous plan will be updated to the code entered in this setting.
      Note: This code must exist in Vista’s HQ Frequency Codes or you will not be able to approve elections that require it. In addition, this code should be one that will never be processed in payroll (for example: I for inactive or N for never).
  8. Expand the Custom Text section.
    1. Review the setting called Step 4 – Acknowledgment Text on the bottom of the Finalize Benefit Page.

      This setting shows the legal acknowledgment that displays before employees can submit and sign off on their elections. This text is included in the PDF printout that the Benefits Admin can download from the Documents Dashboard and the employee can download via My Qualifying Event History on the Manage My Benefits page. Update this setting with your company's legal text as needed.

    2. Enter or modify the text for other settings in this section as needed.
  9. Expand the Window Requests section and review all options.

    This section allows you to make decisions about qualifying events (for example, if users can request qualifying events).

  10. If you have not done so already, configure the Personal Info and Dependents modules.

    When users have an open election window, they must first review and update their personal information on file and then their dependents. Users cannot submit their elections if these modules are not configured.

  11. If you allow users to request qualifying events, review qualifying event types via the Benefits Dashboard:
    1. As the Benefits Admin, log in to HR Management, and select Employee Tools > Benefits Dashboard.
    2. Select the Manage Event Types button.
    3. Review and modify qualifying event types as needed:
      • If users must submit an attachment when requesting a qualifying event, select the Attachment Req’d checkbox. Benefits Admins can review these attachments when they approve the window.
      • To require additional information from users who request a qualifying event, select the Note Req’d checkbox for that event.
        Note: To provide details of what is required for a qualifying event, use the portal setting Manage My Benefits custom text (no open window) located under Admin > Portal Settings > Benefits > Custom Text. Text entered in this setting displays in the header on the Benefits page for users who do not have an open enrollment window.