The following important tips will help you plan a successful open enrollment.
Tip #1 Design a Clear and Concise Open Enrollment Announcement
Make sure your open enrollment announcement clearly summarizes key information, including:
- Open enrollment period dates for all benefits
- Pre-tax contribution rates by specific benefit
- Post-tax contribution rates by specific benefit
- Premium increases (if any)
- Any benefit changes
Tip #2 Create and Follow a Schedule for Communicating Open Enrollment Information
Create a timeline for distributing the required communication materials to help ensure a successful open enrollment. The following is an example of a potential timeline:
- E-mail and/or mail your open enrollment announcement 7-14 days prior to the open enrollment period
- Send e-mail reminders 1-3 days before the open enrollment period begins, and include FAQs
- Send a reminder on the 1st and 2nd days of open enrollment to all employees, which includes information such as open enrollment requirements and deadlines
Tip #3 Determine Employee Eligibility
If your company is subject to the “pay or play” provisions of the Affordable Care Act (generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees), be sure you have used proper methods for determining whether an employee has sufficient hours of service to be considered full-time, and therefore eligible for health benefits. Even if your company is not subject to the “pay or play” provisions, it would be prudent to confirm the eligibility requirements for particular benefits.
Tip #4 Distribute Required Benefits Notices or Disclosure Statements
Ensure that required notices are distributed, such as a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), Summary Plan Description (SPD), and Notice of Special Enrollment Rights.
Tip #5 Don’t Overlook the Human Touch
Make sure that there is a company representative accessible to employees throughout the enrollment period who can answer questions and serve as a resource. Allocating staff time to this is a wise investment that will limit frustration and ensure a better experience for employees as they enroll.