How To Have A Successful Open Enrollment During A Pandemic

This past year and a half has brought a few changes to the way businesses operate, and open enrollment during a pandemic added to the struggles. Businesses and organizations had to adapt the way they administered health insurance information and benefits. Many employers took that as an opportunity to explore new ways to engage and educate their employees about their health care benefits.

Open enrollment is the period of time in which employees can enroll in different health insurance plans. There are various options when it comes to health insurance which can be overwhelming, Alltrust works with companies to determine the best option for their employees. A few of the options are virtual enrollment meetings, customized video content, and a hybrid method of virtual and in-person communications. This article provides some lessons, tips, and information to ensure a smooth open enrollment period. We were able to learn a lot from the last year and a half and can help better prepare for a successful open enrollment during a pandemic. 

Essential Information   

4 Lessons Learned

  • Pre-enrollment, plan sooner. The most successful open enrollment campaigns begin months before the enrollment period actually opens. This allows ample time to gather and organize all necessary information. Alltrust can work with employers ahead of time to help plan and execute an effective plan for your organizations’ needs. The sooner, the better.
  • Have a concise plan. Now that you’re getting a headstart on open enrollment, you can create a plan once you’ve gathered all the info you need.  Having a clear and concise plan that can be easily understood is vital to have a successful open enrollment period.
    • Understand any new legislation and be ready to explain and relay that information to the employees. Create a list of any new changes and include what’s different compared to previous years.  
  • Communication. Roughly 33% of employees don’t fully understand their health care coverage and benefits. This is due to a lack of communication within a company. There needs to be a communication plan in order as well.
    • There needs to be a clear line of communication between the ones who administer the benefits and the ones who receive them. The employer should have people readily available to answer and respond to any questions promptly.
  • Execution and feedback. Once the communication and overall plan are created,  construct a clearly defined timeline to follow. This timeline will allow employers and employees to process all the given information and know the necessary deadlines.
    • Survey the employees and maintain records of questions, comments, and concerns. See what the preferred communication methods are. Analyze the survey results to help customize your benefit offerings to your employees.

By preparing for open enrollment early and taking care of the required responsibilities, you will save a substantial amount of time and resources. There won’t be a need to rush last minute and create unnecessary headaches. Alltrust can help you every step of the way. 

Non-traditional Healthcare

Introduce some non-traditional health benefits for your employees. This global pandemic has affected employee’s mental and physical health as well as financial well-being. One major request employees are making is mental health resources available in a comprehensive health plan. That is why Alltrust Insurance partnered with eMindful, the leading provider of live, virtual mindfulness solutions. As an Alltrust client, eMindful will be provided to your organization as a value-added service, and the platform will be available to every employee and their dependents. eMindful provides solutions that improve health and productivity while lowering health care costs. 

It’s common for your overall physical health to depend on the state of your mental health, and the workplace can be a common stressor. Creating a respectful workplace can help flourish mental stability. Other factors and perks that can aid in maintaining a healthy environment are having the option for hybrid scheduling, telecommuting, developmental opportunities, and greater compensation.  

Virtual Tactics

85% of employers that added virtual engagement methods to their open enrollment strategy said they will continue to do so in the future. For the upcoming open enrollment, it’s highly recommended for your company to go virtual. There are numerous benefits to offering virtual open enrollment fairs:

  • It’s very convenient. Going virtual can easily reach both remote and on-site employees. Doing so will allow the information to be in one place and the adjustment from delivering information to remote employees and onsite employees will be minimal. 
  • Employees are more likely to retain the information if it is given to them digitally. Repetitive messages and reminders increase the odds of an employee seeing the information.
  • It’s cost-effective. Going virtual can reduce costs when it comes to presentations, traveling, and printing materials.
  • Having a virtual fair can encourage the health insurance plan picking to become more interactive. The information can also be readily available year-round for the employees to access.
  • You can reuse the content for future open enrollments or for new hires, as needed.

It will be ideal to create an internal digital program and/or website to help deliver information and to go over benefits. If possible, add a forum or place for discussions so employees can easily have their questions asked and answered promptly. Dedicate someone to continuously keep the website up to date and to watch for questions being posed. Having a benefits calculator on the website can be helpful to employees in deciding which plan is best for them. Allow time to implement the program or website before the open enrollment period.

A Smooth Open Enrollment With Alltrust

With open enrollment approaching and hybrid/remote workplaces still a reality, employers can use last year’s experiences to develop their open enrollment planning and processes. Now is the time for employers to begin gathering all the health insurance benefit materials. Proper preparation can put you in the best position to make the right choices for you and your employees. Save yourself the headache of managing this daunting task and let Alltrust assist you. By working with Alltrust, you can relax knowing your business’s open enrollment period will be as smooth as possible.   Contact Us

Reach out to Alltrust Insurance to get a head start on this year’s open enrollment.

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