With the unfolding of fall, brokers are usually thinking about one thing: open enrollment. November through December is the most common time for open enrollment, since most companies elect a January 1st calendar-year based benefits enrollment.
Most brokers make themselves a promise during the summer that this is going to be the best open enrollment yet, only to get caught up in the snowballing workload that comes with it. Go into this open enrollment prepared and confident with the tools that can help you deliver the most seamless experience to your clients.
A Readiness Checklist
Now is the time to finalize a readiness checklist to ensure nothing catches you by surprise during open enrollment. While this checklist can look different depending on your current client base, here are some types of things to start preparing on your checklist:
- A review of last year. What was your biggest success in 2019’s open enrollment? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
- Frequently asked questions. What are the most common questions that your clients, or their employees, tend to ask around this time? Preparing answers for them can make the process go smoother overall, especially if you can provide an information sheet that answers these questions before clients have a chance to ask.
- Educational materials. Whether you’re preparing webinars, brochures, or any other type of educational materials, now is the time to do so. This way, your clients’ employees can educate themselves and their spouses properly and come into open enrollment prepared.
- Regulation changes. Research any additional regulation changes impacting benefits and eligibility so that can be easily accessible and clearly communicated.
You can’t place enough emphasis on the importance of comprehensive communication. Prepare communication not only for your clients and the questions they would have, but for their employees as well. This includes eligibility requirements, plan option information, and instructions for enrollment. Work with your clients to help them provide helpful communication pieces to their employees, like paycheck inserts, newsletters, webinars, posters, and incentive programs.
The Right Technology
Regardless of how experienced you are in benefits administration, having the right technology as part of your toolkit can exponentially streamline the process. Software technology allows you to:
- Secure more lines of coverage by offering the best in automation, engagement, and compliance.
- Increase participation through decision support tools for a variety of benefits.
- Expand clients’ benefits offerings beyond basic coverage and into consumer-driven and ancillary benefit plans.
- Automate communications and updates, so everyone within your platform is always in the know.
- Remove the possibility of human error by eliminating redundant data entry.
- Generate reports automatically.
- Go paperless and streamline all processes.
The right technology allows you to save time and improve efficiency during open enrollment. As an experienced broker, you know that time is a valuable thing and efficiency is key to success.