Benefits Open Enrollment Period — Tips for Success
Tis the season for Open Enrollment. Annual open enrollment periods are when HR teams focus on educating employees about their group benefits. The goal is to make sure employees understand their benefits options, and choose the best plans for their needs, and the needs of their families. Open Enrollment may include the option of new plans, the chance to change from one plan to another, or change the level of participation in a plan.
Here are some tips to help you succeed with Open Enrollment.
Open enrollment communication is key.
Communicate early – let employees know Open Enrollment is coming, their options, and what they need to do to prepare. Make sure they have time to consult with their spouse/partner.
Communicate often – your employees are busy working, so plan on sending multiple reminders.
Communicate clearly – make sure employees know what is expected and when things are due.
Be prepared for employee benefits questions.
Your employees will have questions – are you prepared with answers or a way for them to get answers? Ensure your benefits portal is updated, including FAQs. Know when to hand questions off to someone at a specialty provider or to your broker/consultant.
Provide information in a way that employees can use.
If you have a range of employee types – field teams, manufacturing, employees working from home, etc.– make sure you have a variety of ways to provide information using different communication styles. Younger employees may want to access information via email or the web, where a group meeting may work better for in-house employees. (Learn more about generational differences in communicating) Think about who you are communicating with, segment your communications, and give each set of employees information in a meaningful way. Dropping a twenty-page packet in front of an employee could cause many eyes to glaze over.
Don’t settle for passive enrollment.
Passive enrollment – letting employees just “roll over” their current election – may seem simpler in the short term, but employees end up with coverage that doesn’t meet their needs and may cost them more than they can afford. It can also result in higher costs for the company. Get employees involved in their choices so they choose the appropriate coverage. Even if your benefits aren’t changing, employees still need to engage with the process.
Offer tools to make things easier
Plan comparison tools or calculators can make it easier for employees to compare plans. But a data-driven benefits decision support tool like Tango Decision Assist™ Standard, is key to a successful open enrollment. The tool is FREE and
- guides employees to find the right plan for their needs at the lowest cost.
- provides healthcare cost estimates based on “people like me”. • teaches about healthcare terms and concepts like HSA/FSA, out of pocket, and deductible.
- shows the math behind a recommendation including tax savings.
Get help if you need it.
Good luck this annual Open Enrollment season – and consider many large companies begin Open Enrollment planning up to eight months in advance! Keep in mind it is never too early to start planning for next year. Download this handy Benefits Open Enrollment Timeline to help with your planning.
Learn more about Benefits Decision Support.
Categorized in: Benefits Communication & Decision Support