Steve Rosenthal, Chief Executive Officer & President of Triton Benefits and HR Solutions, is one of the most widely recognized leaders in the employee benefits and HR space. On Nov. 21st, 2019, Rosenthal participated in a webinar: Conducting a Benefits Open Enrollment Audit, brought to you by Employee Benefits Advisor, Sponsored content from ADP.
As an employer, there are several trends you should be aware of as you prepare for next year's open enrollment period. Also, with the accessibility of new technologies, there are more ways to help your employees through the process. First, let's look at some important data that provides a glimpse into the current state of U.S. employers' relationship to open enrollment and employment benefits in general.
The Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB)
The OERB is used to measure a company's readiness for annual employment benefits enrollment. Every month, over 400 benefits executives from various organizations and industries are surveyed by SourceMedia Research. The participants are asked to rate their completion levels (on a scale of zero to 100) for a number of activities related to open enrollment, including deciding on health plans and reviewing enrollment metrics.
From the most recent survey, averages show that most employers have a desire to improve their health insurance packages more than any other employment benefit. Also, many companies want to start providing less traditional benefits, such as student loan assistance, wellness incentive programs and identity theft protection. When it comes to communicating with their employees about open enrollment, the vast majority of mangers prefer email.
Here are some opinions that Rosenthal shared in the webinar regarding benefits and open enrollment:
New technologies make monitoring enrollment easier
The implementation of digital platforms has made the open enrollment process much more efficient. Employees no longer have to send their information through the mail to get started. Instead, they can sign up for plans and access information about their benefits by simply logging onto their computer. For employers, tracking an employee's enrollment status is easier now than it's ever been before.
"With good technology you can see who's already enrolled, who's in the middle of enrolling and who's finalized," Rosenthal explained in the webinar.
Digital technology has helped employers better communicate with their employees during open enrollment as well.
Consistent and personalized communication is key
During the webinar, Rosenthal and the other specialists agreed that good communication with employees is a key part of optimizing your open enrollment process. It's important to send your employees reminders to make sure that they don't miss out on enrolling. Again, email is the easiest and most popular way to do this.
As some workers receive hundreds of emails a day, it's possible that your enrollment messages can go unopened and/or get marked as spam. One way to avoid this is by personalizing every message. Make sure to use the employee's name in the email subject line and include information that's relevant to them, such as details about their current plan or specific factors to consider when picking a plan.
In addition, Rosenthal recommends multiple touchpoints and a call-to-action at the end of each message. For example, you could send your un-enrolled employees emails once a week that include personalized messages and links that direct them to a webpage, where they can begin the sign-up process.
Millennials have different expectations for benefits
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are becoming increasingly popular among new businesses. Rosenthal, who believes that HSAs are "the way of the future," points out that since millennials are younger and healthier, they're more willing to accept higher deductibles in exchange for lower premiums and the ability to save their money wisely. He also states that "most millennials will expect to have the option to open an HSA when they come to work for you," which is something to keep in mind when you're putting together your health insurance packages, since millennials are gradually taking over the workforce.
Interested in learning more about open enrollment and employment benefits? Connect with us at Triton today!