Trish Barnes on April 16, 2014
How to Ease the Burden of Benefits Open Enrollment for Your Employees
There’s a lot of worked involved throughout the benefits open enrollment period. It’s a time when employees must make important decisions concerning their healthcare coverage and there can be a lot of confusion. As an employer, it’s your job to walk your employees through this process and ensure that all paperwork is completed before the deadline. Here are some ways to ease the burden of benefits open enrollment for your employees and keep things running smoothly.
Schedule Key Dates for Health Care Open Enrollment
Planning ahead of time is crucial because you don’t want to be stuck with getting everyone enrolled at the last minute. One way to avoid problems is to set up a handful of dates where employees can enroll at a time that’s convenient for them. This will allow team members to designate a certain time to sit down, go over healthcare plans and choose the best option to meet their needs. Because the enrollment period will usually span three or four months, this should give you ample time to get everyone set up.
Provide Educational Materials
Due to the different types of coverage and subtle nuances, it can be a little overwhelming for employees to fully understand everything. Your goal is to give them everything they need to make an educated choice on the type of coverage they want. A simple way to accomplish this is to send them to the Healthcare.gov website. From there they can search through a full range of topics and learn more about their options.
Send Out Reminders
With employees being busy with their normal tasks, they’ve may have other things on their mind than healthcare. That’s why it’s a good idea to send out a series of reminders before each scheduled enrollment date. You may want to send one out a week prior, another a few days prior and a final reminder the day before. If you only have a handful of employees, a verbal reminder should suffice. Otherwise, you may want to use email bursts when dealing with several employees.
Provide Platform Training
One advantage of benefits open enrollment is that it’s web-based and can be done through an online platform. This means that your employees don’t have to fill out a bunch of paper documents and you don’t have to spend time sifting through them. Although using a platform is fairly intuitive, it’s a good idea to provide some basic training before enrollment. You can take team members through the process step by step and answer any questions they may have. Once it’s actually time for enrollment, there shouldn’t be any major issues and you can avoid a lot of headaches.
Although the benefits open enrollment period can be a little tricky to navigate, you can save yourself and your employees a lot of frustration by having a game plan. Being proactive and taking the right measures to help employees understand and move through the process should result in the deadline being met and everyone having adequate healthcare.
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