Top 5 Open Enrollment Tips

October 1, 2015


Open enrollment season is just around the corner for many employers, are you ready? This is the time of year when eligible employees start reviewing your companies offerings and decide which benefits to select.  Your plans may stay the same this year, with adjustment for any changes in the law, while other plans may feature significant new benefits. You can make the open enrollment process easier by proactively promoting employee engagement and making resources readily available to employees.


These following five important tips will help your company 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 to distribute the required communication materials to help ensure a successful open enrollment. The following is an example of a potential timeline:

  • Email and/or mail your open enrollment announcement 7-14 days prior to the open enrollment period

  • Send email reminders 1-3 days before the open enrollment period begins (include FAQs as an effective way to respond to the most commonly asked questions)

  • 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 under Health Care Reform (generally employers 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, to avoid penalties. 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 HIPAA 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.


Are you armed with Granite Health Pro powered by Maxwell Health's first ever operating system for employee benefits? Enjoy a streamlined employee benefits administration solution for your organization, as well as paperless open enrollments. Contact us today!


In the meantime check out our customizable open enrollment template.


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