Annual open enrollment is an event and opportunity to communicate directly with your employee and their families about the various benefits available as a valued member of your organization.

Open enrollment is when employees may elect or change the benefit options available through their employer.  This includes:

  • Healthcare
  • Dental and vision care
  • Supplemental life insurance and disability income
  • Hospital supplemental benefits
  • Accidental death and cancer plans
  • Legal services and even pet insurance

Many employers use this opportunity to highlight the benefits.  It is important to plan ahead.  The following are topical areas to include in your open enrollment in order to make it as user friendly and a positive event for your organization.

  • Plan ahead as much as possible and…communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Seek out and install online platforms tied to your payroll and HRIS systems.
  • “Go electronic” as much as possible. Install telephone access to your health plans
  • Use both “active” and “passive” enrollments from year to year.
  • Prepare   “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)”  to help  answer employee questions.
  • Understand how the legislation affects your benefits offerings to share with employees.
  • Communicate helpful phone numbers and websites looking for additional resources.
  • Define health and other benefits terms for your employees, avoid acronyms.
  • Use a “what’s new” segment in your correspondence or guidebooks
  • Update employees on new guidelines for employee health care plans under the Affordable Care Act, Federal and State requirements. Use the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website for a participant communications link to DOL materials.
  • Consider recording and using webcasts
  • Include information concerning your 401(k) and retirement plans
  • Personalize your employee message using preprinted forms or electronic pages with their current selections.
  • Make sure employees have received all enrollment materials, including:
    • Open enrollment schedule
    • Statement of current coverage
    • Plan-specific changes and rates
    • Plan-specific summaries
    • Open enrollment booklet and forms
    • Open Enrollment closing date

The information and opinions expressed are those of the author.  TeBG, LLC provides general information and background on selected topics.  Please seek professional legal and tax advice from your own advisors.