4 Surefire Ways To Crush Your Open Enrollment
1. Be Transparent
Many times, confusion is caused by information overload from employers to their workforce. There are a lot of moving parts involved with open enrollment, including choosing plans, communicating with employees, and fielding questions. SHRM quoted a survey which interviewed 517 U.S. full-time employees and asked them what their biggest frustrations were in regards to open enrollment. The top four complaints were:
- Constant changes in plans/choices.
- Benefits material was full of jargon and very hard to understand.
- Employees felt they were rushed in their evaluation
- The HR person wasn’t knowledgeable enough.
2. Implement a Targeted Marketing Strategy
According to a study conducted by SHRM, 71 percent of US employees participate in passive benefit enrollment practices. So how can an employer be active in their benefits enrollment? By using a targeted marketing method when sending mailings to employees to evaluate their benefits options. That way, each employee has to review their current plan and compare it to their previously selected plan.
3. Create a Realistic Timeline
Ok, this tip may seem like it’s common sense. However, time is of the essence, and people sometimes have a tendency to procrastinate until the last possible second. Open enrollment for 2018 runs from November 1 - December 15, 2017; coverage begins January 1, 2018. With a shortened open enrollment period of 45 days, there’s even less time to get your proverbial ducks in a row.
4. Send More Than One Email
Let’s be honest here - not everyone is great at checking their emails. This is especially frustrating when you are trying to communicate important information to employees. We tend to get into a mentality of “Eh, I’ll read this later”… and sometimes, we don’t. Sending reminders through various, alternative channels like social media notifications, can be more memorable than an email.
Open enrollment can be an extremely stressful season, as it falls during year-end processing and ACA reporting. You might just be able to crush open enrollment by keeping these tips in mind. Let’s recap quickly:
- Be Transparent - Keep everything clear and concise, with references available that address all common questions asked by employees.
- Implement a Targeting Marketing Strategy - Make an effort to understand each employee’s needs, and offer them benefit plans catered to those needs.
- Create a Realistic Timeline - Don’t wait until the last minute to put together a game plan, but also don’t jump the gun. Understand how open enrollment works for your company, and plan accordingly.
- Send More Than One Email - It’s the 21st Century, and there are more means of communication available than ever before. Use them, and keep your employees aware of what’s expected during open enrollment.
Best of luck during the 2018 open enrollment season - now, go and dominate it!
How APS Can Help
APS offers online benefits administration which simplifies the tracking and managing of multiple plan types, including medical, dental, life and disability plans. You can also easily update benefit plans and establish eligibility rules all in the same unified platform. With APS online benefits enrollment, employees can easily view the costs of different plans and coverage types, enroll in benefit plans, and manage their documents all from the employee self-service site.
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