This is it—the time of year when you can change the health insurance benefits that you offer your employees. By preparing now, you can choose plans that meet your organization’s needs and enjoy a smooth Open Enrollment.
Do your homework
Each year, it’s important to evaluate your current health insurance offerings and whether you need to make changes before your Open Enrollment period begins. Contact your producers and network partners. They can help you get the information you need to choose benefits that meet your organization’s needs, including recent health care reform legislation changes and carrier deadlines for adding, dropping, or changing coverage. This allows you to establish deadlines for employees to complete their enrollment.
Communicating with employees before and during Open Enrollment gives them time to review their benefit options and make the best choice for themselves and their families. Providing a checklist of items to address prior to Open Enrollment can make a big difference. This can include items that they need to think through, such as beneficiaries, flexible spending account needs, health savings account considerations, and qualifying life events.
Download our Open Enrollment checklist for even more tips:
- Employers with 2-100 employees
- Employers with 100+ employees
Preparing a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document can also help your Open Enrollment strategy. This can help your employees better understand their benefits and minimize the calls and emails you receive.
Extend your reach
Using different forms of communication will help your employees be well-informed about Open Enrollment. If possible, start with a kickoff meeting for on-site employees and set up a webinar so remote employees can participate. Supplemental sessions, breakout sessions, and group presentations are other in-person options that can help you add another level of support during this time that can be stressful for employees.
Depending on your company’s size and resources, there are many different follow-up communication methods to consider:
- Direct mail
- Text messages
- A dedicated intranet webpage
- Videos on screens in common spaces
- Notices on paychecks (both hard checks and online)
While these are all valuable ways to communicate, keep in mind that digital communication will simplify your benefits administration process and free up your team to handle more critical issues.
Keep messages clear
No matter what methods you choose, you should communicate clearly. Keep your messages brief and give employees a call to action that clearly outlines next steps. Customized messages may be easier to understand and may be more relatable.
Every message doesn’t have to relate to Open Enrollment dates and information. You can keep employees engaged by helping them maximize their benefits through other related topics:
- Health insurance glossary definitions
- Provider networks
- Prescription benefits
- Dental and vision coverage highlights
- Travel coverage
- Telemedicine and nurse lines
- Wellness visits
Check and double-check
After the Open Enrollment deadline passes, most of the heavy lifting is done. However, if you are still using traditional paper benefits enrollment, you should always check enrollment forms for any missing or incorrect information. Ensure addresses are correct and Social Security numbers are included for dependents.
If you are using traditional paper benefits enrollment, you may want to consider making your whole process digital—it can streamline your entire enrollment process, minimize administrative costs, and reduce mistakes.
Employer group coverage with UPMC Health Plan
No matter the size of your business, UPMC Health Plan has many plans and product options. Our comprehensive offerings include medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy plans, health and productivity services, administrative solutions, and a customized benefit platform. We partner with you to manage costs and the health of your workforce. Plus, we offer award-winning customer service.*
*UPMC Health Plan earned 11 awards for customer service excellence at the 14th Annual Stevie® Awards—including the 2020 People’s Choice Stevie Award for Favorite Customer Service in the Healthcare and Pharma category. UPMC Health Plan also earned two Gold, five Silver, and three Bronze 2020 Stevie Awards.