It’s almost that time of year again. Your inbox will soon be inundated with benefits jargon, colleagues will consider whether or not they should switch health plans, and frankly, everyone gets a little confused. Welcome to Open Enrollment season! As you get ready for the 2017 plan year, we’ve put together some tips to help both you and your team improve your company’s Open Enrollment experience.
Keep communications as simple as possible
Strive to communicate authentically with your audience using plain English. Put insurance concepts in layman’s terms, and don’t assume your people understand their health plan options. Set aside time to review the basics and develop specific, real-world scenarios that illustrate how the plans work for different types of people seeking care.
Consider new ways to engage your people
Since you know your population best, instruct your vendor partners (including brokers or consultants) on how you want to manage the conversation with your employees. It doesn’t have to be a traditional all-team meeting or a benefits fair. In many cases, targeted or intimate workshop-style sessions and webcasts can actually be more effective ways to engage your team. You can also consider opening up employee sessions to spouses and partners who may be involved in making benefits decisions.
One-size does not fit all—a good health plan is one that meets a person’s specific needs, wherever they are in life.
Encourage them to discuss their concerns
Open Enrollment is a great time to explore any questions your people have about their benefits. However, some may not feel comfortable talking to your team about anything related to their health plan choices, especially if that means sharing sensitive information one-on-one. Allay their fears and let them know that the benefits team is there to support them in making physically, financially, and emotionally healthy decisions. Encourage your people to take full advantage of the resources provided by doing their homework and bringing in their questions to the benefits team ahead of Open Enrollment.
Ask them to evaluate both paycheck deductions and out-of-pocket costs
How often do you get the question, “What’s the best plan?” But, as you know, plan selection isn’t so black and white. As you know, where you are in your life plays a big part in determining the right plan to meet your needs. For example, having a Health Savings Account (HSA) with a high-deductible plan may save a lot of money on paycheck deductions. This option makes sense if the person in question is generally healthy and doesn’t visit the doctor too often, and it can also serve as a great pre-tax savings vehicle for future healthcare expenses or retirement. If one of your people is planning to start a family or they visit the doctor regularly for a particular condition, their best bet may be a PPO plan where the out-of-pocket costs are lower. One-size does not fit all — a good health plan is one that meets a person’s specific needs, wherever they are in life. If they’re not sure how their life stage maps to the various plans that are available, make sure they know to reach out to their benefits team. That’s what you’re there for!
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At the end of the day, everyone is looking to have a better experience with their healthcare and to get the most out of the valuable benefits that your company offers. At Collective Health, we’re creating the health benefits experience we all deserve by creating products that help the best companies in the U.S. take better care of their people.
Learn how we can help you build a better Open Enrollment. Download our resource guide to help you build a compelling Open Enrollment communications campaign.