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The Top 5 Free Tools You Can Use to Simplify Open Enrollment

The Top 5 Free Tools You Can Use to Simplify Open Enrollment

Most human resources professionals aren’t fortunate enough to have a line item in their budget for “Open Enrollment promotion,” so you have to get creative! Having a great enrollment season requires a great deal of dedication and perseverance on the part of the HR and benefits team, and that includes finding free or inexpensive ways to encourage people to enroll early (and correctly) to receive the benefits that your organization provides. We have found that these 5 free tools are extremely effective ways to help employees understand their benefits and make their benefits decisions!

1. Create a Benefits Overview Video

There’s no need to get carried away with a high production value for the video, but there are people that are audio and visual learners who will benefit from seeing and hearing the same information in a different way. Even after you’ve produced dozens of spreadsheets letting people know the benefits and created a simplified online version of your enrollments choices, people can still become confused.

A video allows you to:

  • Pull together slightly different ways of stating the same information, perhaps with visual aids, that can get people on board with moving forward.
  • Answer common questions and walk employees through the process step-by-step so they can refer back to the video if they become confused partway through the process.
  • Convey a clear and well-planned message to your employees.



2. Chat It Up

If your IT department allows chat modules, Google Hangouts is a great way to route questions to the right place for a quick response. When employees send an email to a benefits team, there may be requests for additional information or other conversation that needs to occur before the employee can proceed with their benefits selections. With Google Hangouts or other free chat software platforms, you can designate a benefits team member to answer questions as they arise in a more interactive fashion.

3. Do a Case Study

While there are always outliers, many people tend to use medical and dental services only when they become ill or are having a problem with a tooth, for example. By mapping out the costs that would be incurred on a standard visit, such as for a sinus infection or flu, you can create a spreadsheet that compares the various plans including coverage levels and out-of-pocket costs. This can be helpful for people to see in terms of a real activity and what their coverage level and costs could look like.

4. Pair Newbies With a Mentor

There are generally people in an organization who “just get it” when it comes to benefits. They take the time to learn everything about the various plans and can even explain it to others. This is a huge boon in a day when benefits selections are increasingly complex. Identify these wonderful individuals ahead of time and recruit the gurus to help mentor new employees or those who always struggle with understanding their elections. This not only helps the benefits process move more smoothly but may take some of the pressure off of the benefits team during their busiest seasons.

5. Insurance Company Resources

You may find that your insurance companies are your best source of free or inexpensive resources. They’ve likely created a wide range of resources, some of which may not be utilized as often. By bringing these free resources to light and sharing them with your employees, you’re helping educate them with vetted information that you can trust fits within your organization’s benefits strategy. You may find everything from templates for sample plans to detailed videos sharing instructions about how to complete enrollments online.

Understanding the benefits that your organization offers is the first step towards helping your staff complete their benefits enrollments in a timely manner. Several of these resources are targeted towards reducing the overall confusion, clarifying dates and coverage and helping gently encourage staff members to go online and claim their benefits.

Want to learn more great tips and tricks for having a fantastic open enrollment season? Contact the seasoned professionals at CoreMark today at 866.340.2247.

You can also download our complimentary guide to helping employees through their first enrollment session: “Step-by-Step Guide for Introducing New Employee Benefits”.