Once a year, the floodgates fly open and a benefits bonanza begins. It’s Open Enrollment, a slice of time when employers make benefits packages available to employees, who must then sift through options on the way to selecting the best protections for them and their families.
Open Enrollment can be overwhelming. Employees can re-evaluate their current benefits and make changes for the coming year, while employers must choose a benefits package that balances cost and value and facilitate the enrollment process.
Benefit offerings change as new demands on employees and employers arise. To make the process as smooth as possible, employers must educate and communicate with their employees effectively.
As employer-sponsored benefits transition to more voluntary, employee-paid or employee-subsidized offerings, employees must assume more control in making smart decisions. Benefit information should be conveyed in an easy-to-understand format providing essential information, along with any additional helpful resources.
The typical Open Enrollment process looks like this:
— Notification: Employers send out an organization-wide announcement alerting employees that open enrollment will begin shortly.
— Receipt: Employers distribute information about benefit plans, selection information and the appropriate forms to their employees, as well as information from selections made the previous year. Employers may offer employees additional information as appropriate to assist in decision-making.
— Deliberation: Employees research available options and discuss with family to determine which benefits they will select for the coming year.
— Decision: Employees select their benefits.
The Open Enrollment process can be improved by:
— Establishing solid communication between the HR department and employees.
— Surveying the employee population to determine their priorities.
— Customizing benefits and information resources to the life stages of your employees.
There’s a lot riding on the process and the decisions made during Open Enrollment, but by taking some strategic steps, all parties can emerge from the experience feeling good about the choices made and the benefits to be provided over the coming year.
Contact the Benefits Team at The Reschini Group for more help with your Open Enrollment questions.
Copyright 2020 The Reschini Group
The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.