The annual open enrollment exercise is usually a busy and exhausting time for the HR department. However, this period also presents HR with an opportunity to make the organization more competitive in the labor market as well as help employees make informed decisions on coverage.
HR leaders should look for ways of simplifying open enrollment for healthcare plans to encourage employees to make the most of the available options. Below are some tips HR can use to simplify open enrollment.
Educate Employees on Coverage Options
Employees should be educated about the importance of open enrollment and what’s available way ahead of time. For instance, you can provide materials four to six weeks before open enrollment to give workers a chance to review their options and have the opportunity to ask questions ahead of time. Using WorkforceOne employees can compare plans side by side online instead of having to go through many pages of confusing paperwork in order to see what plan is best for themselves and their family.
Use Influencers to Engage Team Members
Open enrollment will significantly impact the lives of your employees. Therefore make it a more “people-oriented” process. Use other “influencer” employees to find out the questions or reservations workers may have about the plans.
Leverage well-networked employees to encourage others to utilize the benefits. The influencers do not have to be on the executive team. They could also be support or clerical individuals that most employees trust and go to for friendly advice.
Consider the Needs of Employees
Confirm that the process and perks of the open enrollment of the previous year are still relevant for the New Year. Review the success of past communication channels and see what can be improved. Your team should help you determine the best way to provide information.
Tailor enrollment communication based on the demographics of your employees and the coverage available. For example, you can create materials based on marital status or benefits.
Provide Incentives for Action-Takers
Encourage open enrollment engagement with specific results in mind. Provide information that will help people not only understand benefits and how they work, but also sign up for them. Use creative ways to get employees’ attention and make them act on the enrollment. For example, you can provide testimonials of employees that have benefited from certain perks such as fertility-related coverage or family leave.
Leverage Available Resources
Find ways to use the available resources effectively to encourage open enrollment. For example, you can partner with executives both inside and outside the organization to provide information about coverage.
For small organizations with limited resources, partnering with outside experts such as insurance brokers to educate the workforce can encourage uptake of benefits. Internal teams such as marketing can also be leveraged to create benefits’ content on the organization’s intranet.
Involve Spouses in Coverage Discussion
The benefits that employees choose will determine the healthcare their families will receive. Therefore, it is vital to involve spouses in the open enrollment process. Guide employees by providing a list of topics to enable them to understand what’s best for them and their families.
Also, consider organizing information sessions specifically for simplifying open enrollment for healthcare plans for employees. These sessions can be held after work hours or on the weekends, when they are more likely to attend with their spouses. At Paypro we have a dedicated benefits team that are able to answer any of your benefits related questions and give you the best and most cost effective solutions for your business.