Open enrollment is a vital yet daunting period for both employees and employers. While employees have the opportunity to review and select their healthcare options, employers face the challenge of facilitating this process effectively. With increasing healthcare costs and complex plans, making open enrollment easier and more affordable has never been more critical. Here’s how you can achieve that.
Understanding The Importance of Open Enrollment
Employees often spend less than an hour choosing their benefits for the entire year, a surprisingly short amount of time considering that it’s one of the most significant financial decisions they will make. This lack of attention and understanding can lead to poor choices and financial inefficiencies for both the employees and the company.
A Call for Year-Round Communication
According to Jilian Mondaca, head of enrollment at Prudential Financial, companies should strive for year-round communication about healthcare benefits rather than cramming all the information into the short open enrollment period. By doing so, you’re laying down the groundwork to help employees make informed decisions, leading to a more efficient and less stressful enrollment period.
Boost Healthcare Literacy
While 68% of employees may feel confident in understanding their healthcare plans, that leaves a significant percentage at risk for making ill-informed decisions, possibly leading to overspending on their coverage. Kim Buckey, vice president of client services at Optavise, suggests employers close this healthcare literacy gap through one-on-one sessions with benefit experts and transparent communication.
The Benefit of Partnerships
Navigating the complex healthcare landscape doesn’t have to be a solo venture for employers. Strategic partnerships can add value to your employee benefits while keeping costs in check. For instance, Eastman partnered with The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic to offer virtual second-opinion consultations. This program alone can save up to $36,000 per employee on unnecessary medical costs.
Using Technology for Smoother Open Enrollments
Embracing digital tools can make the enrollment process more straightforward for employees. Various platforms offer intuitive interfaces where employees can compare different healthcare plans, visualize their benefits, and even chat with experts for advice.
The Unlikely Connection: Vacation and Healthcare
After all the stress surrounding healthcare benefits, taking a proper vacation can be a health benefit in itself. Destinations with less noise pollution, excellent air quality, and green spaces can contribute to employee well-being, effectively helping them get more value out of their healthcare plans in the long term.
Open enrollment is not just an administrative task; it’s an annual opportunity for companies to show employees that their well-being is a priority. Properly executed, it can lead to financial savings for both the employer and the employee, increase satisfaction, and contribute to a healthier, more informed workforce. Let this be the year that open enrollment becomes a worthwhile time investment for everyone involved.
After all, as the saying goes, “Health is Wealth.” And this open enrollment period, that sentiment could not be more accurate.