Successful open enrollment is possible for all companies, it just requires some planning. If you are an employer who offers health care, benefits are the second or third largest spend. Open enrollment is the one time a year that employers have the attention of the entire company on benefits. However, for a number of employers, they miss the opportunity to make the most of it and get their employees to genuinely understand their benefits. Here are 3 tips for successful open enrollment and how to make the most of this once a year event.
Tip #1 They have to understand what you are providing
As the workforce bifurcates into the young and the old the basics become more important. The young workforce doesn’t understand the basics. The older workforce needs to understand the nuances. According to the Pew Research Center, 35% of the workforce is made up of millennials. Given how little those employees use insurance, they need help understanding the basics. For example: what’s a deductible, what’s co-insurance, etc. On the other hand, 25% of the workforce is from the Boomer generation and they need to know the details. They are using the benefits and don’t want to be surprised.
Tip #2 Educate employees throughout the year
Members don’t seem to care about their benefits until they do care. Meaning, people are really interested when the need is there, but not so much when the need is not in front of them. Some employers have open enrollment meetings that are 90 minutes. As most employees do not engage with their benefits on any kind of regularity, you lose them. Make a master plan that determines what you want to communicate and have the most important items at open enrollment. However, it’s important to continue to educate throughout the rest of the year.
Tip #3 Be as Specific as Possible
As you present your benefits a few specific examples of how a member might use the plan go a long way. On the medical for instance, show multiple examples of people using the plan and how the costs work. The more you can get an employee to relate to what you are showing, the more they will retain what you are presenting them. For some, this may mean using a decision support tool such as Jellyvision. Have an open-door policy on questions during open enrollment. I know of a CFO who said he would go through the math of the two plans with any employee. That company had a 100% growth in employees moving to their HSA account as a result.
There you go, three simple tips to help with open enrollment. Employers who make a plan, are proactive, and follow the plan will have a better experience. If you would like more information about Diversified Insurance Group and how they can help you have a successful open enrollment, go here.