With open enrollment right around the corner, employers should be gearing up their employees to make the best decisions possible—and providing the necessary resources and educational materials to help them do that. Communications should be as clear and concise as possible, with employers being available to answer last-minute questions and provide tips to make the process smooth and issue-free.
Here are some tips that employers can share with employees to alleviate any last-minute issues and help run a successful open enrollment period.
Take an Active Role
Many companies design the open enrollment process to be similar to an online shopping experience. For the smoothest open enrollment possible, employers should give employees access to decision support tools and other resources that allow them to effectively narrow down their choices—while also considering their specific needs.
A solid, easy-to-navigate online experience is essential and gives employees autonomy over their benefits decisions. However, to ensure your employees make the best possible choices and have a successful experience, motivate them to take an active role in their education—even in the last days leading up to open enrollment.
Properly communicate what has changed from the past year, and consider that generally, employees will not take advantage of the resources you provide unless you encourage them to do so. If you take an active role in the final days leading up to open enrollment, your employees will too.
Assess Health Care Needs
It’s never too late for employees to assess the healthcare needs of themselves and their dependents. They should take the time to understand their past needs and try to anticipate what they may need in the future. This way, they can make any necessary adjustments before open enrollment begins.
Encourage employees to consider their out-of-pocket expenses from the past year and any changes in their or their family members’ health. Also, if your employees are participating in FSAs, they should take this time to re-evaluate their contribution levels.
Determine the Best Source of Coverage
Employees are more likely to enroll in programs that provide all the coverage they need at the most affordable rates. Having decision-support tools available to help employees select plans makes sure they are getting the best source of coverage for them, since all needs and financial considerations are different. Giving employees the tools to help them pick the coverage that is just right for them is an invaluable part of facilitating a smooth Open Enrollment.
Take Advantage of Health and Wellness Programs
If your company offers these types of programs, encourage employees to take part in them to get a better understanding of their current health status. Also, in some cases, employees may be able to take advantage of a financial incentive for doing so. Even with open enrollment only a few days away, encouraging employees to utilize these programs is always beneficial.
Last Minute ACA Education
ACA education can be complicated and time-consuming, so it should mostly be taken care of earlier in the year. But it’s important to ensure employees thoroughly understand any ACA changes and how they will be affected. So, if any employees still aren’t clear about ACA regulations, provide them with any last minute resources, tools, and websites they may need.
Obviously, communication is key throughout every step of open enrollment preparation and education—but it’s especially important during the final days before it begins. This is the time when employees may second-guess their needs and choices. Be available to answer questions, and encourage employees to keep an open line of communication as well.
Open enrollment is always a challenging time of year, but when you—and your employees—are thoroughly prepared, it can run smoothly. Employers can alleviate last-minute issues and provide guidance with the right tools. Visit our website to learn more about the products and services we offer to help run your best open enrollment season yet.