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Open enrollment best practices: From communication to implementation

Increase employee interest and engagement during your upcoming open enrollment

You’ve crafted the perfect mix of benefit offerings, coordinated vendors and created the best eye-catching materials for this year’s open enrollment. But your employees may not share the same level of enthusiasm. We think it’s time for employees to love their healthcare again, starting with a clear and simple open enrollment process. Here are our open enrollment best practices for a seamless 2019:


Perform a check up

Circle up with your human resources and benefits departments and consider conducting an employee survey or use focus groups to check in on outcomes from last year. Was there anywhere your team may have missed the mark? Get input from the executive team on short and long-term goals to help you map out your plan of action. Use our best practices to evaluate impact.


Take it online

Employees are used to managing all of their important memberships online. We’re excited that this streamlined approach is coming to healthcare. In fact, according to the 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report, 62 percent of employees enrolled in their benefits online last year, up from 46 percent in 2011. Whether access is granted from any computer or you host enrollment huddles where members can enroll on laptops, employees (and HR departments) won’t miss the extra paperwork.


Have help on-call

Just last year, a Harris poll found that although they may have been involved in electing their plan, two in five insured Americans did not have a good understanding of the services actually covered under those healthcare plans.

How can we increase understanding and healthcare knowledge? Recent reports show that employees would benefit from having an advisor on their side while evaluating healthcare options. Many employers are providing face-to-face or telephonic experts who walk employees through the open enrollment process. 82 percent of employees at least somewhat agree they would be more informed about their health care choices if they worked with a consultant during the process.


Explain changes in terms everyone understands

Healthcare is complicated enough. Make it easy for employees to know the basic ins and outs of their healthcare plans with easy to understand definitions for common terms. You can start with our answers to the most frequently asked employee questions.


Consider benefits that employees will love

Looking for value-adds that are a win-win for you and your employees? Consider services that offer convenience, are cost-efficient and help employees increase their knowledge about the healthcare system. One-on-one advisor services that assist with price comparisons, billing assistance and general customer service inquiries lessen the burden on employees and HR departments, while employer-sponsored health clinics also continue to be a high-engagement benefit with direct cost savings.


Jump-start a culture of smart consumerism

When employees are involved in their care, everyone wins. Employees aren’t in the dark, HR saves time and in the long run, everyone saves money. Use Open Enrollment as an opportunity to get employees engaged from the beginning. This way, when it’s time to introduce new benefits, tools or changes to your plan, your audience will be ready.

STart by ensuring everyone is familiar with plan basics, including how to use health savings accounts or flex benefits. It’s also a great time to remind employees of the resources available to them, including price transparency tools or customer service support. That way, they know where to turn when they need help.


Keep the conversation flowing

Avoid the post Open Enrollment tune out! Based on what you know about your population, find out what types and methods of communication work best, and keep it up. Some of our clients use monthly emails or poster series to keep employees informed throughout the year, while others prefer face-to-face meetings or recorded webinars.


Make this your best open enrollment yet. Download 7 tips from our Account Management team to inform and engage employees.


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