As open enrollment is fast approaching, leadership teams are finding new ways to streamline their annual benefits enrollment process, which can become a cumbersome task when not approached with a strategy. To help you avoid a stressful enrollment period, here are six tips and a few useful resources to help you successfully execute your annual benefits enrollment obligations.
6 Tips to Successfully Execute Your Annual Benefits Enrollment Process
1. Communicate with Your Employees
The enrollment process is a line item on your to-do list; however, for your employee, it’s the difference between having the insurance coverage they need and going without necessary care. Communicate the details of enrollment to your employees early and often to give them enough time to consider their options and discuss their decisions with their families.
2. Encourage Questions
Be sure to provide your employees with a designated point-of-contact to ask any questions they may have about their coverage needs. Remind them of your open-door policy and encourage them to ask questions about anything they do not fully understand. When your employees have the access they need to make the best choices for themselves and their families, they will feel supported.
Your transparency is the key to your employees understanding their benefits. Summarize the benefits and coverage in your summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) documentation so that employees can quickly see what would and would not be covered by their plans. This step may answer some of your team’s questions upfront, saving time and confusion.
3. Discuss Making Intentional Choices
However you choose to communicate with your employees about benefits enrollment, create an engaging message that encourages them to thoroughly review their options and make the best choice. Instead of defaulting to their last year’s selection, urge them to review their benefits as though this was their first time choosing—their lives have changed, and their insurance needs likely have as well.
4. Review Your Plan Document and Enrollment Materials
Before open enrollment begins, familiarize yourself with your plan document and enrollment materials. Check for any information that you may need to update, such as eligibility requirements, benefits, vendors, dates, and contact details. Verify that you have documented the correct enrollment schedules and deadlines and that you are communicating those dates with your employees, to avoid any potential roadblocks.
5. Review and Update SBC and SPD Materials
You are required by law to have an accurate summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) and summary plan description (SPD) to provide your employees. It’s important to note that although your SBC document may encompass your SPD information, you must still have separate documents on file. Review and update this documentation to verify their accuracy prior to disseminating to employees.
6. Pay Close Attention to ACA Requirements
Carefully review the Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations to ensure that you are maintaining compliance throughout the benefits enrollment process. Depending on your company’s size and your employees’ status, you will have certain coverage requirements that you must meet. Review your employee data to ensure that you have the most accurate information, especially when it comes to hours worked, past insurance coverage, and the number of full-time employees. Having this accurate information in arm’s reach will allow you to quickly verify that you meet the ACA’s standards.
Resources for More Information and Guidance
- The Affordable Care Act
- FSA, HRA, HSA Benefit Plans Explained
- HSA Accounts: The Cousin to 401(k) Plans
- Are You Ready for Open Enrollment Season?
- Benefits: Executing Annual Renewals and Enrollment
Contact us today to learn how LBMC Employment Partners can guide you through the open enrollment process to streamline your process and support your employees.