It’s autumn. We just turned back our clocks to Standard Time. It must be time to launch this fall’s Open Enrollment.
What is Open Enrollment?
In Open Enrollment, employees sign up for company benefits or can modify their current package. Many companies run open enrollment programs between November 1-December 15 so that the new benefits’ programs are ready to launch in the New Year.
While open enrollment is optional (if he or she takes no action, the employee will have the same program of benefits as the previous year), there are big advantages to act in this period. It’s important for Human Resources to convey the options and motivate participation.
Other than in Open Enrollment periods, employees have limited abilities to change their benefit elections. In most firms, employees can make changes mid-year with these occurrences:
- Loss of job
- Marriage or divorce; becoming widower
- Adding a new family member (newborn or adoption)
- Loss of Medicare coverage or aging off parent’s plan
The Open Enrollment period is a great time for employees to reflect on their current package and make changes for the next year.
Open Enrollment is important to employee satisfaction
Open Enrollment provides an important window of time in which Human Resources can excite and motivate their employees. Employers who do a strong job conveying the benefits and helping employees sign up for the right programs stand to better satisfy and retain workers as well as to potentially lower their costs.
The better employees understand their benefits, the more likely they are to make cost-conscious decisions about their plan choices and their healthcare — saving themselves and their employers money.
Health care costs have become expensive for both employees and employers. It is important for employers to convey their substantial contributions as well as to help employees pick the highest value package for their families. Unfortunately selecting benefit packages is complicated – think the ‘alphabet soup’ of terms HSA, FSA, 401k’s, 403b’s. While we cannot simply those programs, this checklist is designed to make the communication and selection of other programs easier.
An HR Manager’s Checklist
For this year’s Open Enrollment
✔ Communicate clearly the benefits you offer this year
Hold a series of meetings at convenient times for your team. These interactive sessions allow employees to ask questions.
Send a series of messages both in paper (direct mail) and digitally. Repetition of the messaging and sending through multiple vehicles are important to connect with your busy workers. Also, be sure to send the direct mail pieces to your employee’s home so their families can be aware and involved in these important elections.
Distribute benefit brochures and company bulletins.
✔ Communicate what’s new
✔ Make it easy for team members to make changes
For future Open Enrollment periods
✔ Survey your employees
You want to be sure you offer the benefits that employee desire. Ask them about their satisfaction with the current benefits and what they’d value in the future.
✔ Consider non-traditional benefits
Your survey may tell you that employees would like to see pet benefits, tuition reimbursement, more flexible schedules, or telecommuting. Ask them for ideas.
Given the survey results, investigate the most desired benefit for 2020. The cost may be reasonable compared to the perceived benefit. Pleasantly surprise your team.
✔ Make healthcare more convenient
Perhaps onsite wellness/healthcare facilities or telemedicine would be desired. Technology has made many of these offerings attractive and more affordable.
Open Enrollment programs are hugely important as a motivating factor for employees. Print Tech can assist with high-quality, responsive service as you decide a plan to communicate these programs.
If you need immediate help for this fall or in your planning for next year, Print Tech is a resource. Contact us for more details.