Administering PEBB in Benefits 24/7

HCA is introducing a new online enrollment system called Benefits 24/7. Benefits 24/7 will integrate online account access for subscribers from the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) and School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Programs into one platform to allow for streamlined support and maintenance. This modernized web-based enrollment system will have a new look and expanded capabilities, providing self-service options for members, and will be used by benefits administrators (BAs) in place of the Pay1 system.

 

Benefits 24/7 rescheduled to launch in early 2024

Benefits 24/7 is set to launch on January 16, 2024.

HCA wanted to provide more time to ensure a successful launch. HCA took members’ and employers' feedback into account when determining the new launch date.

The decision to launch in January considered several factors:

  • We anticipate that this year, as employees make changes to their health plans, they will be more engaged with online enrollments during the PEBB annual open enrollment (OE) period in November. During OE, we want employees to focus on choosing the best plan for their needs rather than navigating a new enrollment system. 
  • After the open enrollment period, HCA staff and BAs will continue to enter enrollment forms in a timely manner to transfer new enrollments to the carriers. This data transfer enables the carriers to issue new ID cards and provide other communications to their employees before coverage begins on January 1. Introducing a new enrollment system during this crucial period could create a barrier to enrolling on time.
  • SEBB employee turnover ranges from 10% to 15% in August and September, introducing unnecessary risk when implementing a new enrollment system for use in both the PEBB and SEBB programs. We want benefits administrators (BAs) to be able to focus on assisting new employees rather than navigating changes to the online enrollment system.

Please continue to use PAY1 through Friday January 12, 2024 for benefits administration. Access to Pay1 will end at 6 p.m. on January 12. If Outreach and Training currently processes enrollment for you, please continue to submit enrollment requests using HCA Support. If you have emergent enrollment requests while Pay1 is down and prior to when Benefits 24/7 launches, please contact Outreach and Training at 1-800-700-1555.

Preparing for Benefits 24/7 go-live

The Benefits 24/7 online enrollment system is scheduled to go-live in January 16, 2024 for both benefits administrators (BAs) and employees/subscribers. 

Navigating to Benefits 24/7

When Benefits 24/7 goes live, BAs and employees can visit benefits247.hca.wa.gov to access Benefits 24/7. For quick and convenient access, save the URL as a bookmark or favorite in your browser (Google Chrome is the preferred/recommended browser), or select any of the links to Benefits 24/7 which will be provided on the HCA and PEBB BA websites. 

Benefits 24/7 manuals

Chapter 1: Introduction to Benefits 24/7

  • In Chapter 1 you'll find descriptions of common terms related to accounting and eligibility, instructions for how to log into Benefits 24/7, and an overview of the Administrative Dashboard located within the Benefits 24/7 system. 

Chapter 2: Managing Benefits 24/7

  • In Chapter 2 you'll learn about how benefits administrator access is managed in Benefits 24/7, how to locate reports and files, where to find subscriber enrollment history, and how to troubleshoot employee access to Benefits 24/7.

Chapter 3: Managing employee accounts

  • In Chapter 3 you'll learn about employee enrollment in Benefits 24/7, including how to manually add a new employee, what to do if you encounter dual enrollment, how to process dependent verification and special open enrollment (SOE) requests, and making changes to an employee's account. You'll also find information about transfers, terminations, reinstatements, and correcting errors. 

What training is available to BAs?

The following Benefits 24/7 training resources are available to BAs:

Instructional videos

  • Links to our instructional videos are available on the Training materials and recordings webpage.
  • These videos serve as the primary training for administering benefits in the new program and are designed to assist BAs with navigating the Benefits 24/7 training environment
  • These videos provide step by step instructions on the processes that BAs will complete in the new system.
  • It is recommended that BAs watch the series of instructional videos prior to working in the Benefits 24/7 training environment.

Recorded webinar sessions

  • During the months of April and May, the O&T unit delivered a series of webinars that reviewed the instructional videos and addressed questions submitted by attendees. There were four sessions for each employer type: 1) State agencies and institutions of higher education, and 2) Employer groups.
  • Recordings of the webinar sessions can be found on the Training material and recordings webpage.

To stay up to date with current training opportunities, please return to this webpage and the Training schedule webpage.

Benefits 24/7 training environment

  • The Benefits 24/7 training environment (benefits247train.hca.wa.gov) is available and designed for BAs to get hands-on experience in the system at their convenience (Google Chrome is the preferred/recommended browser).
  • While the training environment is not an exact replica of how Benefits 24/7 will appear and function once the system goes live, it will give BAs the opportunity to become familiar with the appearance, design, and functionality of the new system prior to the launch date.
  • Review the login user guide for assistance with logging in to the training environment. If you're unable to log in to the training environment please contact Outreach and Training (O&T) by sending an HCA Support ticket, using the "Request Training" category.
    • Be sure to include your first and last name, agency name and agency/subagency number, and email address in the body of your message.

Request access to the Benefits 24/7 training environment

Access to the training environment is managed by the HCA. To request access to the training environment, please send an HCA Support ticket to use using the “Request Training” category. Be sure to include the following in the body of your message:

  • Your first and last name
  • Agency name and agency/subagency number
  • Your work email address
  • The access role you wish to have while working in the training environment.

Once HCA receives your HCA Support ticket, we will grant you access to the training environment. Be sure to include the following in the body of your message:

BAs who have Admin access in the training environment will be able to add, update, or remove the Edit and Read Only access roles in the Benefits 24/7 training environment, just as Admins will be able to do once the system goes live.

How will employees be informed about Benefits 24/7?

The PEBB Program is developing a variety of ways in which employees can learn about the Benefits 24/7 online enrollment system. 

HCA will have webpages dedicated to Benefits 24/7. The About Benefits 24/7 webpage is currently available while the "Help with Benefits 24/7" webpage will be available on January 16, 2024.. 

In addition to the webpages, HCA will send the following communications to employees: 

Who is Benefits 24/7 for?

The new enrollment system will support PEBB and SEBB subscribers and benefits administrators (BAs). (Pierce County, Washington State University, and University of Washington employees will continue to use Workday.)

Is this similar to the PEBB Modernization Project?

Yes. You may remember hearing about the PEBB Modernization project in 2021. Benefits 24/7 is the expanded PEBB Modernization project with more capabilities than the original project. Benefits 24/7 will provide more functionality and integrate PEBB and SEBB subscribers into a single system.

What is changing?

Employers

Benefits 24/7 will provide a more user-friendly application with expanded functionality. It will also significantly reduce several manual processes and paper forms. Specifically, Benefits 24/7 will allow:

  • Benefits administrators (BAs) to manage all enrollment elections of their employees’ accounts in Benefits 24/7 instead of using PAY1.
  • BAs of all employers to key their employees’ data.
  • BAs to verify dependent eligibility using verification documents that have been uploaded to Benefits 24/7 or provided as a paper copy by their employees.  
  • Employers to manage Benefits 24/7 access for their BAs.
  • View employee’s enrollment history including, enrollments, special open enrollment (SOE) requests, attestations, documents, dependent details, and login history.
  • Access through SecureAccess Washington (SAW).

Employees

Employees will be able to use Benefits 24/7 to:

  • Make medical and dental plan choices during initial 31-day eligibility period, and during annual open enrollment.
  • Waive medical coverage during initial 31-day eligibility period and during annual open enrollment.
  • Request enrollment in retiree coverage.
  • Request to enroll in PEBB continuation coverage. 
  • Submit SOE requests. 
  • Add or remove dependents during open enrollment and manage their enrollment throughout the year. 
  • Upload documents to prove dependent eligibility.
  • Make long-term disability insurance elections. 
  • Use links to visit vendors’ websites for supplemental benefits (life and AD&D insurance, Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs), and Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)). Note: FSAs and DCAP are only available to state agency and higher education employees.

What is not changing?

Many operational processes will remain the same for benefits administrators (BAs). A few examples are noted below.

BAs will continue to:

  • Send and receive the following: demographic information, billing files, reports accessible, etc.
  • Provide timely notification of eligibility and enrollment timelines to employees. 
  • Review and enter enrollments and changes for new and existing employees.
  • Have employees enroll in supplemental life and AD&D insurance using MetLife's MyBenefits portal or by submitting the enrollment form directly to MetLife using the submission instructions on the form. 
  • Review submitted Special Open Enrollment (SOE) requests and approve or deny requests based on the SOE event. 
  • Send inquiries to Outreach and Training staff through HCA Support.

The PEBB Program will continue to:

  • Use Pay1 as the HCA Accounting system of record.

Contact

Have a question about Benefits 24/7? Send us a message through HCA Support.