Open enrollment for the new year’s health insurance plans can be one of the most hectic times of year for you and your human resources department. This is the one chance many employees have to make healthcare decision that will affect them all year long. You want to do everything you can to make your enrollment a success for the people who work for you.
1. Start early.
The earlier you begin, the smoother your open enrollment process will be. Begin by reviewing your current insurance offerings with your broker, network partner and third-party administrator to assess your current plan’s cost and performance. This way, you can learn if there are more effective options available. Do not neglect aspects like vision and dental coverage, if your company offers these.
Make the big decisions about how you will administer open enrollment. Will only new employees or those changing plans need to submit forms, or will you have everyone update their documents? What support services will you be able to offer? The more you know early, the better your process will be.
2. Educate employees.
Insurance can be confusing.
Make sure that employees understand their options. Explain how changes might affect them and their families. Help them understand how to make the best purchasing decisions for their circumstances and needs.
You may wish to consider creating educational materials that focus on the steps involved in selecting the right plan. These materials can teach them how to evaluate factors like: deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums and weighing them against other factors like premiums. You may wish to create a few examples so that people can see the implications of different plan choices in the real world.
3. Collaborate with your broker and network partners.
Your broker and network partners are a great resource for putting together a successful open enrollment. They can help you ensure that your process meets industry standards and best practices. They can also help you assess whether the plans that you have are the best option for your employees or whether there may be a better deal that can serve the people who you work with better.
4. Be available to answer employee questions about plans.
Many employees won’t realize that they have questions about insurance policies until they are in the process of signing up. Make sure that you are available to help them through the process when they need it. Let them know that they can email you, phone or even make an appointment to go over their options with them. If employees know that they can get the answers that they need, they’ll feel more secure about the process of signing up for the new insurance year. Then, they are also more likely to take on the task early instead of putting it off until the last moment.
5. Consider a health fair or another informational seminar.
In some cases, hosting a health fair is the most effective way you can get people engaged in your open enrollment and ensure success for your organization. People who work for your company can get all the information they need to make the right choice at a single location and time. You get the advantage of face-to-face contact so you can enroll employees onsite, eliminating employee confusion and saving everyone time. A health fair is also a great opportunity for health and wellness screenings, as well as education about good health practices.
Businesses who offer these fairs should be sure that every component of your company’s health plan are in place at the event so employees can come away with a complete understanding of their plan. Choose a time that is easy and convenient for employees to increase attendance. You can also boost attendance by offering incentives like goody bags and gift cards to those who come.
These preparations can make all the difference in a successful open enrollment period. A successful open enrollment means employees who are better covered and happier with the benefits that they receive. By getting all of the information you need early and extending resources to your employees, you can ensure that they better understand their options and can choose the right ones for them.
Even well-planned benefits rollouts can come across challenges. Are you getting the help you need to solve them? Download our complimentary guide to helping employees through enrollment season: “Step-by-Step Guide for Introducing New Employee Benefits”.
Contact CoreMark today at 866.340.2247 for more information about how we can help your company going into the new year.