Conducting Open Enrollment

Conducting Open Enrollment so employees all start the new year on the right foot is one of the most important year-end tasks your organization will face. Open Enrollment for 2020 begins in just a few weeks on Friday, November 1st and runs through Saturday, December 15th. It can be a chaotic time for HR professionals across the country, especially when you consider all the other year-end tasks you’ll have to finish in just two months. Here are a few things to consider as you help your employees navigate the open enrollment waters.

Before Conducting Open Enrollment

If you’re like most organizations, conducting open enrollment has probably been on your mind for the past few months. In that time, you’ve probably been busy gathering materials, putting together a communication plan and figuring out your employees’ knowledge gaps to determine what more you need to cover.

Use the pre-Open Enrollment time to touch base with your benefits partners. It’s a great opportunity to learn about any changes, updates, or modifications to your organization’s plan(s). Your benefits partners probably have their own marketing or informative materials you can use to make your internal processes easier. 

Identify Your Employees’ Changing Needs

A lot can happen in a year’s time. That means there’s a good chance that some of your employees’ benefits needs have changed or evolved. While it’s not realistic to account for everyone’s specific circumstances, segmenting your employees into various categories or personas can really help you target the information you distribute and the knowledge you want them to have. Send out surveys or hold information-gathering sessions to understand what the biggest priorities are in your company and tailor your materials to match. 

On the flip side, learn about any new offerings from your benefits providers. Based on the information you’ve gathered from your employees, are there any new features that might be particularly useful? Are there benefits you offered that no one seemed to use? Answering questions like this can help you make smarter enrollment decisions going forward. 

Make Sure Everyone’s Prepared for Open Enrollment

Your department has been preparing to conduct open enrollment for months, but there’s a good chance it probably hasn’t been on everyone else’s mind. You can help prepare employees and other departments by “putting the bug in their ears.” Surveys and information gathering sessions like we discussed above are great ways to get the ball rolling. Scheduling out reminder emails or posting flyers in common areas also ensure you’ve done your best to get everyone in the right mindset. 

On a more technical level, make sure your employees know which questions to ask. They should already have a good understanding of their coverage, why they need it, and how much it’s going to cost them per paycheck. Use your open enrollment period to answer more specific questions.  

Set Aside Enough Time

As much as you’re probably looking forward to Open Enrollment’s end, don’t rush your employees. Even if they aren’t updating their policies, determining which benefits are best is huge decision. Try giving your staff two to three weeks to complete their enrollment. Sure, there are bound to be some procrastinators, but padding the time table will help alieviate employee frustrations or the feeling that they’ve made a rushed decision about their benefits for the new year. 

Speaking of time, you need to make sure you are available to talk with employees during the open enrollment period. A great way to handle this is by setting up designated times for employees to come to you with questions. This will help set expectations in the office and help you focus on the task at hand. Furthermore, employees with more sensitive questions will have a designated time to ask them rather than in front of a group or over email. 

Conducting Open Enrollment with isolved

Keeping everything organized during Open Enrollment is far easier said than done. The isolved online benefit enrollment tool streamlines the process and takes the stress out of the equation. With isolved, you can:

  • Upload benefit documents and link out to carriers
  • Add plan comparison features
  • Set up automated email notifications
  • Monitor everything with your Open Enrollment dashboard
  • Much more

The best part? CTR is a certified isolved partner and can help you set up everything to fit your company’s needs. Contact us to learn more about isolved Open Enrollment and everything else the software can do to help you make your humans happy. 

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