Benefits Advisor's Guide to PHQ Best Practices on Allay

It’s an exciting time when your client is psyched to get the most competitive underwritten rates for their upcoming renewal. This guide will step you through the PHQ process and give you some tips on best practices we’ve seen along the way.

First, some straight talk

The biggest challenge to get through this process always boils down to one thing: a battle against employee inertia. Be prepared to expend 90% of your efforts on getting the last 10% of applications completed by employees. Make sure your client is aware and prepared to help you get all health questionnaires because you run the risk of employees without PHQs being denied coverage or the entire group being re-rated.

Best Practices:

  1. Employee communications should come from a member of your leadership team as this will produce the fastest response.
  2. Do this as early as you can afford to and don’t let time make the renewal decision: Include a deadline that’s about a week in advance of your real deadline so you don’t run out of time.
  3. Prepare your employer and your employee population on what to expect in this process. Our FAQ for the PHQ process is the a great place to start.

Getting started 

Step 1: Start by reading this FAQ for employees on Personal Health Questionnaires (PHQ) that will be helpful for you too.

Step 2: Send the link to employees by copying it from your dashboard:

Step 3: Send out invitations to your employee population. Here’s a sample of some copy that has worked well in the past:


Dear [Employee Name],

In order to bring you the best value from our health plan possible, we will need every employee to complete a Personal Health Questionnaire (PHQ). Its sole purpose is to help potential health insurance carriers to assess our risk as a group and determine appropriate premiums. If you do not complete your health questionnaire by 5pm Monday 6/5 you will be NOT be eligible to enroll medical benefits this year. Completing a questionnaire is NOT a commitment to enroll in benefits; you can waive benefits later when it’s time for open enrollment.

Your privacy is of utmost importance, which is why we are using an outside service to gather this information. No employee of [Company Name] will ever be able to view this information. This includes employees in human resources and finance who administer the health insurance plan for the company.

Please complete the personal health questionnaire by [insert deadline here]. Click the link below to get started immediately:


Or read more about the process here.

Please let us know if you have any questions.



Step 4: Track the progress of your group throughout the PHQ process from your PHQ dashboard 

  • Click on “status” to sort employees according to whether they are complete, incomplete or waived. (Tip: only an employee who has begun the PHQ process will show up with an “incomplete” status. An employee who has been sent a link but hasn’t begun will not and will need to be reminded separately.)
  • Send out email reminders to complete the questionnaire by checking the box next to the employees with an “incomplete” status and “Send Invitation.” (Tip: emails reminders are sent automatically every few days but it’s often useful to send out on an as-needed basis.)

  • Click on “Download” and select from one of the four reports in the dropdown:
    • Signed PHQs - download all PHQs ready for submission
    • Status Report - download a spreadsheet of all employees who have begun the process. (Tip: Share this with your clients regularly so they can help you follow up with employees.)
    • Health Report - for a spreadsheet download of the health conditions reported by your employee population.
    • Census from PHQs - download all employees and dependents who have enrolled, including the coverage

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Allay secure?

Yes, all the information provided on Allay is transmitted using end-to-end encryption (SSL) and the relevant industry standard practices. Read more about our security policy here.

Is Allay HIPAA compliant?

Yes, Allay is fully HIPAA compliant; you can read more about our privacy policies here. At no time, will an employee of the group (even employees of finance, human resources or CEO) have access to another employee’s personal details or medical history on Allay.

What should I do if I my group runs into technical issues?

Let us know by sending an email to

What do I do if an employee says they completed their questionnaire but I show them as having an incomplete status? 

You should ask the employee to forward their email confirmation to prove they have completed their questionnaire. If they don't have this email receipt, there are steps they still need to complete in Allay.  Have the employee log in again at

What do I do if an employee says they need to make changes after they signed their PHQ? 

  • Head to broker dashboard and click on "Assign and Track PHQs" for the group. 
  • Select the employee who has requested to make changes to their PHQ. 
  • From there select Request New Signature from the dropdown menu. 

  • This will erase the signature that was applied to the PHQ and allow the employee to go in and change their answers and re-sign the forms.

Note: an email will be sent out immediately to notify the employee.