Employers and employees alike must prepare for open enrollment. Employers must update materials and properly communicate benefit offerings to their employee populations. Meanwhile, employees need to be familiar with their needs and their family’s needs in order to properly enroll in the most appropriate benefits.
Preparing as an employer
Effective communication helps inform employees of new, returning, or changing benefits options during open enrollment. Employers should:
- Inform offerings early to give employees time to process and determine their needs. Having more time is beneficial and increases the number of employees who feel prepared for open enrollment.
- Be as straightforward as possible. Health benefits can feel overwhelming and confusing, so new or updated benefits must be introduced as effectively as possible. Highlight the most important and relevant information so as to not bombard employees. When summarizing, be sure to attach or link more detailed documents. If possible, avoid overly technical terms and break down complicated concepts with real-world examples.
- Use proper channels. With a mixture of work models (i.e., in-person, remote, hybrid), employers should consider whether print, digital copies, or a combination of both are most useful for their workforce. Videos, postcards, flyers, text messages, and handouts can be sent as reminders and updates. By using the appropriate media, information can be transferred in the most digestible way available.
Employers can ensure a more seamless transition between plan years by providing employees with benefits offerings in a timely and effective manner.
Preparing as an employee
To reduce the stress of open enrollment, employees should be cognizant of the needs of themselves and their families in addition to what is being offered. Gathering information to make informed decisions can feel daunting, but when using a checklist, open enrollment is more manageable. Below are a few helpful ways an employee might gather pertinent information to inform their decisions.
- If you enrolled through your employer last year, review your previous elections and determine how effective they were.
- Make a comprehensive list of your providers including your primary care physicians, specialists, and prescriptions.
- Determine how much you spent last year in total medical costs.
- Be aware of known or planned medical needs in the upcoming year (i.e., surgeries, childbirths).
- Review your new benefits offerings by inspecting all communications and attending enrollment meetings or benefits fairs.
- Create a list of any questions you have regarding open enrollment or the offerings.
Determining your wants and needs prior to enrollment will help you make more informed decisions.
If you have any questions regarding open enrollments or benefits offerings, please contact your dedicated Creative Benefits, Inc. team member.