The summer enrollment season is officially underway. The ultimate goal is to get your employees signed up for next year’s benefits, but it doesn’t always go so smoothly. Below are some tips we’ve put together to help employers plan and run a successful open enrollment.
Understand your workforce
How well do you know the demographics of your workforce? Take a look at past years and identify what plans appealed most to your employees. Understanding past employee needs will help you estimate their future needs, so you can design a customized plan geared towards achieving both retention and budgetary goals.
Pull out a calendar and start planning! This should become part of your routine before and during each annual enrollment. Determine what your goals are for this year’s enrollment. What worked and didn’t work last year? Start compiling educational resources and materials early, and prep your plan for the coming weeks. By the end of enrollment, you should already be setting your sights on next year!
Communication is key
Your new mantra should be “communicate early and often” when it comes to open enrollment. Ideally this should be a year-round strategy, so your employees know what is coming up and what their options are. Get used to the idea of repetition, because your employees will not retain all of the information you give them the first time around. Steady reminders and consistent follow-up will lead to better understanding over time.
Use a variety of communication channels
Your workforce is likely to comprise of a variety of groups, each that favor their own communication methods. Ask your employees about their preferences and be prepared to customize your communication plan based on their feedback. Create a strategy that embraces a multimedia approach (e.g. handouts, posters, video, email, presentations, meetings, social media).
Avoid using industry jargon
Don’t assume that your employees are well-versed in health care jargon. Put everything in plain English with easy-to-understand messages. Keep your message clear and simple, so you don’t overwhelm your employees with too much information at once.
Know your stuff
Your employees will undoubtedly have questions. Are you prepared to answer them? Make it a point to understand the options available so you can in turn explain the differences to employees.
Bring in a third party expert
Benefit decisions can mean costly mistakes for your employees if they are uninformed about their options. One way to avoid this is to bring in a third party expert, like an insurance agent, broker, financial adviser, or a TPA. This is especially helpful for employees with specific questions about their situations, so they can get the exact answers they’re looking for.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Providers can offer tools and resources for educating your employees during the enrollment process. If you’re in need of benefit educational materials, just ask! It is our goal to provide helpful communication tailored to your workforce. And if you or your employees have questions, FBS is here to help.
Good luck during summer enrollment! Keep in mind, the most successful enrollments come from a well-planned strategy that employers utilize before, during, and after each enrollment season. It’s not too late to put your plan into effect, and it’s never too early to begin planning for next year!