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Best Practices to Prepare for Open Enrollment

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The fourth quarter of every year is a bustling time of year for many HR teams. Preparing for a successful annual enrollment requires communications, employee support, time-consuming projects, and potentially long and busy workdays. Here at BenefitWerks, we have compiled four best practices to help your team in the process.

Start Planning Early
Creating a renewal timeline and working closely with your broker and technology partner mid-way through your plan year will help keep your team and your employees on track throughout the months leading up to open enrollment. Having deadlines available can help you work backward to decide appropriate timelines.

Take Advantage of Technology
The amount of paperwork, planning, reporting, and accountability involved during open enrollment is staggering. When you consider that each employee must make an election according to eligibility for every category of their benefit options, it can make any HR/Benefits manager feel overwhelmed.

Utilizing a benefits administration platform such as BenefitWerks to facilitate open enrollment, educate employees about their benefits, deliver accurate and secure benefit elections to carriers, and ensure all employee and dependent information is housed in compliance with HIPAA, ACA reporting, and EOI and COBRA administration.

Develop & Distribute Clear Communications
As a best practice, ensure that your open enrollment communications strategy meets the needs of your workforce. Today, most workforces consist of multiple generations, and many employers have employees who work remotely and travel frequently. Provide multiple opportunities to attend meetings to learn about benefit offerings, changes to plans and carriers, and any new mandated thresholds. Be sure to include virtual or recorded meetings as well. A BenAdmin system, like BenefitWerks allows your workforce to access meeting recordings, enrollment guides, and plan summaries easily by mobile, tablet, or desktop. This eliminates the need to print and distribute these materials.  Include these things on your company’s intranet if applicable.

Highlight Benefits Changes
Avoid information overload. Your employees can only absorb so much information at once, especially considering this is in addition to their day-to-day projects. Start by highlighting the changes or additions to your benefits offerings from the previous year. Make sure to explain what was in place before, what employees gain with this change, what they lose with the change, and what actions need to be taken from this point. You’ll set up your workforce for success and provide a thoughtful approach to benefits communications.

Account Executive, β Division

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