It’s that time of year again! Employee benefits open enrollment is upon us. What can employers do to make this year’s open enrollment a success in every way? How can you better engage your employees to ensure that they are making informed choices and are satisfied with the process? Consider these five tips for a successful open enrollment.
- Communication is key.
Communication is the most important element of a successful open enrollment. It is never too early to start communicating with your employees about open enrollment and what is required of them. Think about it: open enrollment comes at the busiest time of the year for most people. The more and better information that they have up front will yield more engaged employees and a more successful event. Communicate plan changes, cost changes, dates and deadlines early and often. Use videos, meetings, webinars, and print materials so everyone has an opportunity to view and absorb the information with plenty of time to make decisions and enroll in a timely manner. Consider inviting spouses to any benefits meetings, and even offer one-on-one meetings if necessary to provide extra assistance to anyone who needs it. Provide ample ways for employees to get their questions answered, from phone numbers to websites, contact persons, meetings, and more.
- Talk about health care reform.
Most people are still confused about health care reform. Don’t forget to discuss what, if anything is required of your employees because of the Affordable Care Act. Also, be sure to explain how it has influenced any benefits or eligibility changes, or how it impacts the portion of premiums that employees are required to pay. The law is complicated and has changed frequently. Stay up-to-date on the most recent information and share it in an honest and uncomplicated manner.
- Require active enrollment.
Passive enrollment basically allows employees to roll over their elections from one year to the next. It may seem easier, but it also severely limits employee engagement and a true understanding of their benefit options. Employees, too, may be happy to take the easy way out, so requiring active enrollment is the best way to ensure that employees review the information and make the best selections every year.
- Offer a variety of support tools.
Employees will likely need help choosing the best benefits for their families. Offer decision support tools like plan comparison tools, calculators, and provider information to allow employees to make well-informed choices.
- Ask for help.
If you need assistance with employee communication materials, decision support tools and other resources, we can help. We will work closely with you to find the best plan options for your employees, and will help you through the open enrollment process to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Are you ready for open enrollment? What other tips can you offer to ensure a successful open enrollment period?