Why Online Employee Benefits Enrollment Systems Are Gamechangers


Posted by: Altura Benefits in Insurance

online employee benefits enrollment systems

The stakes will be high this open enrollment period. Offering the best employee benefits package is a start, but it might not be enough. You also have to educate employees on their options and help them enroll in a plan that meets their needs – and you might be dealing with a hybrid workforce and an understaffed HR team while you’re trying to do all this. Online employee benefits enrollment systems can help you increase employee benefit awareness and engagement. Here’s what you need to know.

High Stakes This Open Enrollment Period

Call it the Great Resignation, the Great Reshuffle or whichever term you prefer – workers keep quitting. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that more than 4.4 million workers quit in April 2022.

Investopedia points to a number of possible causes for the high turnover, and many of these causes are tied to the pandemic in one way or another. For example, some employees are quitting because they’ve been ordered back to the office after working remotely and they’d rather find a job that lets them stay remote. The pandemic also forced some people, especially working parents, out of the workforce. Labor participation rates have been relatively low, and this means that employers are competing for a smaller number of job candidates.

This situation is giving workers the upper hand. They know that their services are in demand, so they can demand good salary and benefits. Joblist’s 2022 U.S. Job Market Report found that 67% of job seekers say that benefits are more important to them now than they were before the pandemic. Furthermore, 54% of job seekers would consider taking a lower-paying job if it came with a better benefits package.

For this year’s open enrollment period, the stakes are high. Many employees have seen their friends and colleagues quit. If they aren’t happy with their benefit options, they might start thinking about leaving, too.

Selecting a Health Insurance Plan and Other Benefits

LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022 report found that 60% of professionals are prioritizing compensation and benefits when selecting a job.

The pandemic has made people pay more attention to their health insurance coverage and out of pocket costs. In addition to staples like health plans and retirement plans, many employees are interested in other benefits that meet their needs. These benefits are often offered as voluntary benefits that employees can choose to enroll in based on their unique needs, making it possible to personalize benefit packages.

Fortune found that many workers say their employers are offering new benefits. These benefits can include things like improved dental and vision coverage and health and wellness stipends. However, about half of workers said their employers weren’t offering any new benefits. In some cases, this might be because they weren’t. In other cases, it might be because the employee simply didn’t know about the new benefits.

This lack of awareness may be common. HRD America looked at employee perceptions of mental health benefits at large employees, and the results were alarming. Many employees said their employer didn’t offer any mental health benefits, even when they did.

Employees need to make sure their employees actually understand their benefits, and that’s going to require new strategies.

New Complications This Enrollment Period

Some of the barriers to benefit awareness are longstanding. Employees are busy, and those large packets filled with benefits information can be overwhelming. Many employees might not get around to reading them. As a result, they might pick a health plan that does match their needs, and they might miss out on some benefits entirely.

However, new complications are making open enrollment even more challenging. Some workers have returned to the office, while others are still working from home, and others are juggling hybrid work arrangements. This means that your workers won’t all be in one place and reaching all of the during open enrollment can be even tougher.

At the same time, many companies are understaffed and overworked, and these issues extend to the HR department. According to SHRM, 42% of HR teams say they’re struggling with workloads that are too heavy. This is going to make it more difficult to manage a complex open enrollment period.

Employers need a good strategy this open enrollment period that includes an online employee benefit enrollment system. Otherwise, open enrollment tasks might fall through the cracks, deadlines might get missed, and employees might lose out on the benefits that they need. That’s why it’s important to leverage online tools.

An Online Employee Benefit Enrollment System Can Be A Gamechanger

Open enrollment has gotten complicated, but online tools are providing solutions for many of today’s open enrollment headaches.

If you used an online enrollment tool in the past, and you weren’t impressed, you might be surprised to see how much the technology has improved in the past few years. Admittedly, integrations used to be a little clunky. Not anymore. Enrollment systems are now fast and highly integrated with your chosen health insurance carriers. Many platforms include slide bars that enable employees to easily see the corresponding payroll deduction for each level of coverage.

Using an online employee benefits portal, employees can review their choices and select the benefits that work for them. These online tools may include benefit comparisons, videos and interactive content designed to help employees really understand their benefit options. Messages may be sent in the portal or you can use text messages and email to alert employees to tasks that need to be completed or to provide confirmation of selections.

Best of all, you can use your online benefit system to facilitate enrollment into both employer-sponsored and voluntary benefit offerings. By including voluntary options in your online platform, you can vastly increase participation while reducing administration time.

Here are a few of the many advantages of digital enrollment:

  • Online portals offer an attractive alternative to dense employee benefit packets and complicated enrollment forms. The user-friendly format can help employees digest bite size pieces of information, and this can support better benefits education and engagement.
  • Employees can access all of their benefits information in one place. Whether they’re looking at health insurance plans or voluntary benefits, they can see everything in one spot. This reduces the chances of something being overlooked.
  • Online employee benefits tools are available 24/7, from any location where employees can log in. This gives employees flexibility to review benefits information on their schedules and with other family members.
  • Self-service is easy. Employees can handle their own enrollment using online tools. This means that there’s less work for HR professionals.
  • Nothing slips through the cracks. Online enrollment tools make it easy to see which tasks have been completed and which still need to be done.
  • Online enrollment tools can help during open enrollment, but they are also useful other times of the year. For example, these tools can be used during new employee onboarding and during a special enrollment period triggered by a qualifying life event.

Online Tools Help You Get the Most out of Your Benefits

Employers are feeling the pressure to up their benefits game. If they want to compete for top talent, they need to offer attractive benefits. But this isn’t enough. They also need to make sure that their employees actually understand and enroll in the benefits they need. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

Online employee benefit enrollment can change this. According to Benefits Pro, many employers have been scrambling to adopt digital enrollment tools since the pandemic pulled the rug out from underneath traditional workplace practices. The switch has been paying off. Among employees who say they are satisfied with their benefits experience, 72% say they enrolled using a digital method.

It’s Time to Plan Open Enrollment

Open enrollment will be here before you know it. Make sure you’re ready.

  • Review your benefit offerings. You may need to adjust your offerings in order to meet your employees’ needs and compete with other employers.
  • Assess last year’s open enrollment. Consider what went wrong and how it could be improved. For example, did employees miss deadlines? Was enrollment low?
  • Rethink your enrollment process. If you’re still using old-fashioned enrollment methods, it may be time to embrace digital enrollment tools.
  • Finalize your game plan. Consider your timeline, outreach and communication methods.

Get an Automated Enrollment Advantage with Altura Benefits

Altura Benefits offers employee benefits including health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance and a fully range of voluntary insurance benefits. We offer all of our clients access to a cutting edge online employee benefits enrollment system, so that you can improve benefit awareness and engagement. Learn more.