Open enrollment is officially here! Get your team set up for success and make the most of your time by reviewing our open enrollment checklist:
1. Survey Your Employees
Before you make plan changes, survey employees to see what they do and don’t like about their benefits. Are certain providers or prescriptions not covered under your current plan? Do you need more affordable options or more extensive coverage? How satisfied are people with ancillary benefits like dental, vision, 401(k), or life insurance?
2. Start Early
Start making decisions as soon as you get a renewal. The sooner you submit everything to the carrier, the quicker and more likely your employees are to receive their ID cards by the new start date.
3. Reevaluate Employer Contributions
Do a bit of research to find out what similar companies are contributing to employee benefits. You could be at risk of losing a great employee because your benefits contributions aren’t as rich as a competitor. Similarly, it’s important to be aware of what you’re required to contribute in order to remain compliant. For example, with medical you must contribute 50% of the employee only base rate. Take care when evaluating other things like spousal carve-outs. Consult a broker if you’re not sure if your policies are compliant.
4. Encourage Employee Engagement
Share open enrollment information early and give employees ample time to review plan information and come up with questions—before and after benefits meetings. Plan for one-on-one Q&A time with your HR representative(s) and broker after meetings because employees will likely not be comfortable asking specific health related questions in front of their co-workers. And remember, HIPPA regulations require you to keep personal health questions and disclosures private.
5. Keep Enrollment Details & Plan Information in a Central Location
Distribute benefit summaries and enrollment forms at open enrollment meetings if you don’t have an online portal. If you are using an online portal, ensure all benefit documents are included and easy to access. A Statement of Benefits Coverage (SBC) must be distributed to all employees per Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations.
6. Highlight Additional Options & Perks
Remind employees about additional things like company sponsored gym memberships, fitness credits, well visits, free flu shots, Tele-Doc options, HSA contributions, and more.
7. Be Clear on Deadlines & Due Dates
Most carriers require that enrollment documents be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the new effective date. To abide by this, you’ll need to set your own deadline even earlier to ensure you have enrollment paperwork back from employees. Allow a few extra days to fill in missing information before forms are due to the carrier. If you turn in documents late, a carrier can’t guarantee everything will be processed and distributed by the effective date. While your employees will ultimately still be covered, a physician may not be able to verify coverage while late information is being processed.
8. Audit for Accuracy
Once employees are enrolled, circle back to make sure everything is set up correctly. Check that employees, spouses, and dependents are enrolled in the right plan, and that personal information (like birthdates and names) is listed correctly. Distribute relevant notices like HIPPA, Medicare Part D, COBRA, etc. Update important Premium Only Plan (POP), Wrap, and Section-125 documents.
Need help addressing a specific aspect of your benefits or open enrollment? Ask us your specific questions via the online chat tool in the lower left corner of your screen. We’d love to talk to you!
Guest Blogger: Kim Kent
Bio: Kim delivers successful outcomes to clients who engage her expertise for a variety of Human Resources projects. Early in her career, she earned her 2-15 license and served as a benefits consultant for mid-market companies. Kim later joined Peoplr where she delivers recruiting, compensation, benefits, HRIS, and talent management services. Originally from North Dakota, Kim fled the snow to earn a Bachelor’s in Communication from the University of North Florida (UNF). In her spare time, she loves anything Disney or Star Wars related.
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