08/22/15 By Jennifer Brown

Preparing for Open EnrollmentWhen open enrollment season rolls around for an organization, the process itself can seem overwhelming for those responsible for choosing the benefits options, administering the plans, and communicating the details to employees. However, when planned and executed accordingly, open enrollment can be a rewarding experience for all involved.

Start Early
It’s never too late to start reviewing your existing benefit plans. Understanding the costs and benefits of your current plans – what’s working and what’s not – can help you tremendously when deciding whether to stay with your current plan or switch to a new one. If you are considering a new benefit provider, you will need to allow for time to survey the market, request quotes, and weigh the pros and cons of switching.

Ask Questions
When deciding whether or not to keep your existing plan or change to a new one, there are a few basic questions you need to ask:

• Is there a specific need to decrease our costs?

• Do we have a need to increase our offerings to help retain our employees and attract new talent?

• What are the demographics of our employees and does that translate into specific needs (e.g., older or younger employees, married or single, other factors)?

Communicate
Ensure employees have access to detailed information about the benefit plans offered. Make sure employees can easily contact both your internal open enrollment expert as well as reach out to the provider directly with specific questions.

Great Time to Remind
In addition to medical benefits, open enrollment is a great time to remind employees about all of the different benefits your company offers. Make a list of all options available to your employees including programs such as health savings accounts, memberships and discounts, and employee assistance programs.

Automate
More and more these days, processes such as open enrollment are moving from pencil and paper to automation. Automation can provide numerous benefits including decreased internal administration, time savings, user-friendliness, and benefit data at your fingertips. There are many providers out there today. Do some digging to see which one fits your business model and needs.

With the right planning, open enrollment can be a seamless experience for both you and your employees. If you need guidance on your upcoming open enrollment, give me a call…we work with businesses like yours to develop benefit strategies, find brokers, and fine-tune open enrollment processes.

photo credit StockImages via Free Digital Photos