Just the thought of an approaching open enrollment period can cause stress for employers and their workers. But with proper planning and a well-developed strategy, open enrollments can be organized, effective and a positive experience for all involved.
Development of a detailed timeline well in advance of the start of open enrollment season is a great first step. The employer and their benefit consultant can analyze the company’s specific objectives, style and demographics to develop a customized approach. Included in this stage should be the scheduling of webinars, benefit fairs, seminars and opportunities, as applicable. Likewise, the framework of an employee communication campaign can be developed, leaving specific details (like plan data, contribution schedules, etc.) to be inserted at a later time.
As soon as renewals are made available by the carrier(s), plans and contribution schedules can be selected by the employer and a communication piece should be distributed to all employees outlining the planned process, any critical information and any important dates and deadlines.
Benefit plan and contribution information should be presented to employees in a manner that encourages employees to become engaged in the process. The communication material should present the range of benefit details in a simple, understandable and even exciting, if possible, manner…customized as much as possible to the profile of employees in each organization.
Technology should be used whenever possible. Utilization of emails, webinars and online open enrollment tools all enhance the experience for today’s technology-oriented workforce and help to streamline the entire process.
Once open enrollment ends and everything settles down, the process can be reviewed and employee feedback solicited in order to better understand the components that worked well and those that didn’t. In this way, the experience can be further perfected for the following year’s open enrollment season.
The Cumberland Valley Business Alliance offers its members access to My Benefit Advisor as a solution for employee benefits, including voluntary offerings. For more information about My Benefit Advisor, visit our website at cvba.mybenefitadvisor.com or contact Christopher Sloane at (800) 377-3539.