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Posted by: Altura Benefits in Insurance
Open enrollment is your chance to boost employee engagement and maximize the ROI of your employee benefits. You need everything to go smoothly, which requires solid planning. Unfortunately, many employers are falling short. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), worker satisfaction with health benefits dropped from 60% to 55% between 2021 and 2022. The following essential steps can help you increase your open enrollment success.
You might think you’re offering a great employee benefits package, but if your options don’t meet your workers’ needs, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
For example, some workers might want an inexpensive health plan with a Health Savings Account, but others may want a robust health plan, even if this means paying higher premiums. Likewise, different voluntary benefits will appeal to different groups of workers. Even if your benefits package seemed adequate in the past, you may find you need to update your offerings to meet changing expectations regarding mental health and telehealth.
To figure out what your employees want, conduct some research:
Since the stakes are high, it pays to have an expert on your side.
Although captive agents only have access to insurance options from a single carrier, independent benefits brokers can work with multiple carriers. A benefits broker can help you examine all your options, helping you provide the best benefits package possible while keeping your costs under control. Benefits brokers can also help with education, compliance, and coverage negotiation. This support can be invaluable when you’re selecting your health plan options, but it can also be useful when you’re putting together dental, vision, life, and disability insurance and other voluntary benefits to round out your employee benefit package.
Once you’ve figured out what your employees want and you have a broker on your side, it’s time to figure out what you can provide. Although you might be unable to deliver everything your employees could wish for, you want to make sure your offerings are competitive enough to support recruitment and retention. To do this, you need to know what other employers are offering.
The annual KFF Employer Benefits Survey provides good insights into the plan availability, benefit options, and cost sharing arrangements that small and large employers in the U.S. are offering. You can see highlights from the 2022 survey here.
The days of handing employees a huge benefits package and leaving them to figure it out are over.
Employee benefit options can be overwhelming. Many workers don’t know enough to make informed decisions. As a result, they may rush through the selection process and pick options that won’t meet their needs. In fact, EBRI found 72% of adults spend less than an hour choosing their health plans during open enrollment.
The good news is new digital enrollment tools can take the pain out of the enrollment process. With modern open enrollment portals, employees can log in whenever it’s convenient for them, learn about their benefits with user-friendly tools, and enroll online. The right online enrollment tools can alleviate open enrollment headaches for both HR professionals and employees, so this is an area that deserves your attention.
Altura clients have access to Employee Navigator, an all-in-one benefit administration tool that helps employers manage new hire enrollment, compare and select plans, review employee eligibility, monitor enrollment status and deadlines, manage contribution levels, store plan documents, and build customized reports.
This is not something you should play by ear. You need to head into open enrollment with a strong game plan. Otherwise, you risk missing deadlines and letting critical tasks fall through the cracks.
When will open enrollment start and how long will it last? Since new benefits typically go into effect on January 1, open enrollment needs to occur during the fall – November is a popular month. Open enrollment periods may last for two to four weeks.
When planning your open enrollment period, don’t forget to take other events into account. For example, Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November – you probably don’t want your open enrollment deadline to fall around this major holiday. You should also consider any dates that are specific to your company, such as major deadlines for big projects that will keep your employees busy.
You’ve put a lot of effort into creating an appealing employee benefits package; now you need to help your employees understand and appreciate their options to ensure they make good selections. Remember, the selections they make now will impact their finances, health, and satisfaction for the entire year to come. This is time for all hands on deck.
At the end of your open enrollment process, it’s time to review the process. This will help you spot mistakes and determine what you could have done better.
Altura Benefits can help you achieve open enrollment success. In addition to helping you put together an employee benefits package that meets the needs of your workers, we offer compliance and HR support. Learn more.
Are you a company looking for benefits or an individual seeking insurance? We are here to help. Answer a few questions and we can get you a quote. Get started by filling out the information below.
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