As the beautiful summer weeks begin to Sunset and Autumn quickly approaches, the season for open enrollment comes right along with the foliage. While open enrollment can occur at any time of year (according to the employer’s discretion), most companies host their window for health benefits plan modifications before the end of the calendar year. And for most companies, open enrollment in 2018 will occur between November and December.
Simply put, open enrollment is the timeframe in which employees can make modifications and adjustments for the coming year based off of their experience over the previous year. If you’re happy with your current plan, there’s no need to participate in this adjustment period. If you’ve recently made changes in your plans based off of a qualifying life event, you might also forgo participating in open enrollment at this time. Continue reading for three quick tips to run the most successful open enrollment process for your company that will set your team up for success in the year to come.
Start the OE Process Early
- The Open Enrollment process should begin 90 – 120 days before your company’s renewal or anniversary date. The office manager, HR director or executive team should start thinking about what changes, improvements, corrections your employee benefits programs need for the coming year.
- Review the renewal packets with your broker and give them updated directions and instructions.
- Review your broker’s findings and recommendations to the requests you made. Then make informed decisions on which plans you will offer employees in the coming year along.
- Allow at least 10-15 days for employees to make their new selections. This will ensure they don’t feel rushed in making decisions.
- By staying in touch with your benefits advisor, you can ensure that you won’t miss critical deadlines for your business. Establish timeframes and guidelines to track progress.
- Using a modern brokerage system of record will allow you to free up a lot of time rounding up employees and collecting their information.
Remember: the rates are “the rates”
- There is no such thing as an agent getting you a “better deal” for small group rates. Rates are submitted to the state departments of insurance and approved monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annually depending on which state you’re in. The benefit of your broker is to make sure they’re offering you the best plans for your business and employee needs.