Open enrollment allows employers to communicate their health, vision, dental, and life insurance options with their employees better. Too often, employees are confused and unsure by the various insurance and coverage terms used to explain their choices.
Inflation and rising healthcare costs can make it even more difficult for many people to afford health insurance. It’s more important than ever for HR departments within companies to learn how to make these benefits easier to understand to allow people to make the best decisions for their families.
Why is Communication During Open Enrollment Important?
Employers are responsible for providing employees with easy-to-understand information about their benefits. Many changes can occur with benefits, health plans, and wellness programs that can overcomplicate enrollment and confuse many people about their eligibility and what is available. With clear communication, employees can understand their options, make the right decisions, and stay within their budgets.
Most open enrollments occur during the fall between November and Mid-December. If the deadline is missed, employees may miss out on the chance to enroll in benefits, putting them at risk. Employees cannot enroll until the next enrollment or during special enrollment periods for life-changing events such as marriage, having a child, or divorce. Some companies have begun to ramp up communication efforts to reduce confusion and ensure their employees are educated on what’s available.
By openly communicating clearly and often, employers can demonstrate that their employees are valued and appreciated. Employees have the best chance to choose an affordable health plan that is right for their health needs. Communication can lead to happier employees and higher retention rates with top talent.
How to Hit the Mark for Open Enrollment
Open enrollment is one of the most critical times for employers and HR departments to be prepared for well before it arrives to ensure the most success. Follow these tips to ensure your company hits the mark for open enrollment, ensuring employees get the most out of their benefits.
Develop an Open Enrollment Strategy
A clear strategy is essential to help employers stay organized and ensure nothing is missed during the open enrollment season. Employers should determine goals and create a comprehensive roadmap that helps them reach their goals.
Create a Clear Communication Path
Communication is crucial for running a business, especially for open enrollment. Before open enrollment, employers and HR departments must develop a plan to communicate benefits information and provide resources to address all questions and concerns.
Providing all the necessary information, including any changes and important dates, should be some of the first communications sent to the organization. Frequent reminders should be sent out regularly through a comprehensive communication plan. Employers must also communicate the path for any questions or concerns and where they can be directed to get them answered quickly and efficiently.
Focus on Educational Content
Education is crucial before, during, and after open enrollment and should be a top priority for HR departments and employers. Employers can close knowledge gaps and hold meetings to discuss the options and answer any questions throughout the enrollment period.
While open enrollment and explaining health benefits are the top priority for employers during open enrollment, companies shouldn’t underestimate the value of year-round reminders. Employers can regularly send out reminders of wellness programs and actively look for ways to improve participation. Efforts can include hosting meetings with benefits specialists, on-site health screenings, and lunch and learns relating to health programs.
Ensuring that you deliver a quality benefits plan that saves money, makes employees happy, and keeps you in compliance with State and Federal regulations is crucial. Outsourcing benefits administration with Kona HR can deliver peace of mind and a better benefits experience for employers and employees.
Learn more about our Benefits Management here: https://www.konahr.com/benefits/