Wrestling with the implications of the upcoming open enrollment period could be one of the most challenging in memory for employers due to the implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Companies should start planning now as the fall season approaches.
Employers should consider:
- Offer a consumer-driven health plan. With 39 percent of large employers offering one last year and 64 percent expected to do so within two years the momentum behind this type of plan continues to grow.
- Communicate to the newly eligible early and often. Start communicating right away with newly eligible employees about who is eligible, why they are eligible, how eligibility was determined, what this means and what they have to now consider. Information should also be delivered to those who still remain ineligible and the options these employees may have in the public exchange arena. Research indicates that changes to comply with the requirement to extend coverage to all employees working 30 or more hours per week still need to be made by one-third of employers.
- Make voluntary benefits a big part of the message. An important element of a thoughtfully designed benefits program includes voluntary benefits which can deliver significant value to employees. Voluntary benefits can be used to overcome misperceptions and confusion around other benefit offerings. These offerings also can assist employees who remain ineligible for the employer-sponsored medical plan.
- Reinforce wellness campaigns during open enrollment. If any perceived compliance penalties are going to be introduced next year this is particularly important. Such penalties may include increased premiums for those who do not participate in health screenings.
- To support the accountability theme deploy decision support and mobile technology. With participants being asked like never before to take accountability for their health benefit decisions and cost outlays, some employers are providing digital “wallet cards” for smart phones and other devices. These should contain benefit information and contacts needed at the point of service or anywhere else a participant needs this information and/or advice.
If you are a current Paypro Benefits client and you need help with your enrollment process, please reach out to your dedicated Paypro Benefits Specialist.
For more information on Paypro’s Employee Benefits Solutions, please click here.