Open Enrollment Season – Changes Bring Opportunities
Let’s face it; the annual open enrollment process for selecting benefits is a tedious and often laborious one, not only for the HR team but for employees as well. Making benefit decisions is important and the selections made affect employees and families in a personal and financial way throughout the year.
As employers across the country brace for open enrollment season, there are a few lessons learned that are worth sharing to make the process as seamless as possible.
Make It 'Active'
Instead of simply allowing employees to passively enroll in the same benefit plan they currently have, consider making the enrollment an “active” process. This means making each employee actively select the plan they want. This allows you to educate employees on the benefits you are offering, even if no changes are being made.
One of the best ways to explain the benefit plans to employees is by illustrating different scenarios that may play out. Specifically demonstrating how the benefit plan works if someone goes to the doctor, needs a prescription filled or has a more catastrophic issue can be more informative for employees than simply looking at numbers on a page.
Employers often take for granted that their employees understand the insurance lingo that is so commonly used. Take the time to explain what deductible, copay and coinsurance mean. It may sound simple, but many employees are unaware of even the most basic terminology.
Communication is Key
This is the one time a year where communicating to your employees on their benefit package can’t be overdone. Employers who engage, over communicate and actively seek out questions from their employees face far fewer concerns throughout the year.
Starting the communication process as early as possible gives both the HR team and employees and their families enough time to make educated decisions. No one likes to feel rushed and year-long benefit decisions shouldn’t be made in a hurry.
The MBA, NMTA, BIAW and CAMPS Health Trusts have a team of professionals dedicated to making the open enrollment process as smooth as possible. We are available for phone calls, questions, in-person meetings and strategy sessions to address any concerns you or your employees may have.