By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
The Summer season is coming to end, which means open enrollment is looming. Productive employees who are engaged with their careers may not have the time to focus on their benefit offerings or may be overwhelmed with amount of choices that are available to them, especially during open enrollment season. Clarity Benefit Solutions says brokers must make it their mission to properly educate employees about their benefit packages, so they can make an informed decision.
The open enrollment process should be initiated before the period begins. Send an email to announce when open enrollment will take place. Hold some pre-enrollment meetings to gather data on insurance preferences, types of voluntary benefits desired, and plan providers. Eliminate any unused or hardly used choices. This will all help brokers tailor benefit plans to each client's wants and needs. This is also the time to brush up on any recent changes in compliance.
Next, it is important to prepare all materials in several formats. The information should be concise and engaging. Use a mix of traditional and progressive methods to share this information. Older employees will appreciate brochures, flyers, and email. The younger generations will look to websites, social media platforms, and apps to absorb this information. Use an online benefits platform to not only streamline the entire process but allow employees to access their information 24/7.
Offer the proper mix of mandatory and voluntary benefits so employees can choose what is best for their specific situation. If plans have changed in any way, communicate those changes immediately. Forward-thinking employers are pairing High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). As for voluntary benefits, look at trends such as wellness programs, gym memberships, and wearables to boost plan participation.
An active enrollment period, meaning that all employees must re-apply for their health plan, is another way to prepare employees for open enrollment by providing brokers with the opportunity to make sure that employees have a full understanding of their options. Give them plenty of reminders about important deadlines, and make sure there is a benefit expert available to handle any concerns as soon as they arise.
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