5 Mistakes to Avoid During Open Enrollment (and solutions!)

October 20, 2021
Posted in Blog
October 20, 2021 TouchCare Team

Selecting the right benefits plan can be a frustrating process for employees, and with the open enrollment period upon us, employers need to provide the right resources and support to help employees select a personalized plan that best meets their needs. With tight enrollment deadlines, an overload of information, and multiple plan options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and pick a plan that isn’t quite right, resulting in headaches and unnecessary costs. 

Employers should use this time as an opportunity to empower their employees and dependents with greater accessibility to quality healthcare and increased protection from unexpected medical costs. This open enrollment season, we’re uncovering 5 mistakes to avoid (and solutions!) to help both your employees & the HR department navigate plan selection as seamlessly as possible. Check them out below! 

5 Mistakes Employers Should Avoid

1. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t assume employees know what you’re talking about. Healthcare is complicated, and your employees haven’t spent months developing benefit plans, learning about deductibles, FSAs, coinsurance, etc. Employees need to be equipped with information and resources to make the most informed decisions about their benefits. 

2. Don’t leave your employees guessing. Don’t have a meeting and/or webinar and then leave your employees with no resources for follow-up questions. Some employees may have significant needs and might not feel comfortable asking questions or delving into private information in a group setting. 

3. Don’t neglect secondary benefits & add-ons. Employees tend to focus on healthcare during open enrollment and tend to overlook secondary benefits and add-ons like HRA, FSA, HSA, and ancillary benefits. If your organization includes these benefits in their offerings, be sure to focus on each topic individually and discuss how they can bring in greater cost savings and might be the right option for your employee. 

4. Avoid an overload of information. A lengthy presentation to review every single benefit can be overwhelming. Think of creative ways to ensure employees truly understand everything that is being offered so they can leverage benefits appropriately and avoid enrollment errors.

5. Don’t rely solely on technology. Test your systems ahead of time. Make sure employees can enroll with ease and provide a resource if there are enrollment errors.

5 Tips for Successful Open Enrollment

1. Plan ahead. Open Enrollment can be stressful for HR and employees alike, but the pandemic has stressed the necessity for healthcare offerings and resources. Developing & planning a strategy ahead of time can help employees better understand their options and also alleviate pressure from the HR department. Creating a proper timeline and communication strategy between HR & employees is critical to maximizing employee participation. 

2. Create a communication plan. Everyone digests information differently be sure to diversify your communication strategy by hosting educational meetings, webinars, providing emails, posters, FAQs over an extended period of time to keep your employees engaged and informed. 

3. Make it fun. Host events like “lunch and learns” to get your employees engaged. Offer incentives and prizes to encourage participation and get your employees excited. 

4. Communicate the consequences of failing to enroll or selecting the wrong plan. Not having the right coverage can either result in being over-insured or under-insured which can be financially devastating to an employee. Missing the open enrollment deadline can also put an employee and their dependents at risk of not receiving any benefits or being dropped from proper coverage. Stressing the consequences can encourage employees to better prioritize open enrollment and understand its value. 

5. Simplify Open Enrollment by leveraging concierge services. At TouchCare, we understand that every member’s situation is unique, our open enrollment support makes it easy for employees to find the right plan for their healthcare needs and select the right plan. From employer-sponsored benefits to ancillary options like FSAs & HSAs, our experts educate and engage employees with their benefits. 

Along with our core service of OE support, we’ve also introduced Open Enrollment Premium, which pairs AI-powered technology with compassionate concierge services. Powered by Picwell, OE Premium provides members with instant scored plan recommendations based on their unique needs. If you’re interested in streamlining your Open Enrollment strategy with TouchCare, click here.

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