The Case for Year-Round Education for Employee Benefits Enrollment

A full 82% of HR leaders consider open enrollment to be a stressful time, according to a recent survey.

Three-quarters say they spend a great deal of time answering employee questions, and two-thirds named communicating complex topics as a major pain point of handling benefits.

Because of this confusion, way too many employees end up choosing the wrong benefits, leading to unnecessary costs for individuals and companies alike.

The Questions Don’t End When Open Enrollment Does

A good benefits communication strategy helps employees get the right benefits and know how to use them. It addresses questions and concerns throughout the year, not just during open enrollment or when new hires come on board.

  • How do I find participating providers?
  • How do I understand my outofpocket costs, deductibles and rate changes?
  • Who can I go to with questions about medical bills or disputes?
  • How can I make changes in my coverage in response to life changes?
  • Which tests or procedures are covered by my insurance?
  • When should I make changes to my benefits?
  • What is the deadline to enroll in wellness coverage?

Providing useful information throughout the year also means that employees are better prepared to make the right choices when the next open enrollment period arrives.

Benefits Education Strategy

There are several important elements to a successful year-round benefits education program:

  • Be proactive. Have information already prepared for new hires, as well as those who get married, have a child or experience other life changes.
  • Educate yourself. Make sure everyone in HR is familiar with basic insurance terminology and knows the resources to seek out when you don’t know the answer to a question.
  • Get feedback. Use a survey, focus group meetings or one-on-one conversations to ask what questions people have about benefits, when would be the best time to attend an information session and what topics they would like to see covered.
  • Be available. In addition to benefits presentations, encourage individuals to schedule appointments where they can ask confidential questions about their own circumstances.
  • Use multiple formats. Different employees may have preferred communication methods. Some may appreciate email or text reminders of upcoming deadlines, while others would rather have the information in paper form. Making presentation materials available online helps those who may be unable to attend in person. Social media is a great place to post updates and information.

Do you have questions about effective benefits education for your organization? Are you looking for more convenient, web-based and mobile-friendly enrollment?

Contact Moresource Inc. today. Our experts are here to make benefits enrollment as easy and as painless as possible for you and your employees.