Open enrollment trumps Christmas – This shouldn’t be the case

Open enrollment trumps Christmas – This shouldn’t be the case

September 21, 2016

By Michael DiLorenzo, Chief of Outdoor Operations (COO), Michigan Planners

Do you relinquish Christmas shopping for open enrollment processing?  Relinquish no more!  Read the below helpful tips for achieving a smoother open enrollment.

  1. Simplify.  The Health Care Reform laws have resulted in more legal notifications and plan summaries. Place legal documents and notices on a cloud-based site, or email them to your employees. The less they have to go through, the quicker they can make their decisions.
  2. Speak to the decision makers.  You don’t want your key messages (i.e. deadlines, benefit changes) to be distorted, so make an effort to involve both the employees and spouses. Establish a dedicated benefits line to answer frequently asked questions, send mailers to employees’ homes and schedule evening meetings to accommodate working spouses.
  3. Be creative.  The restroom is a high-traffic area that can be utilized for displaying bulleted reminders (i.e., watch your email for enrollment announcements, attend the enrollment meeting this Friday, etc.). Post your flyers on the back of every stall door or on mirrors.
  4. Create a contest.  Contact local restaurants and see if they are willing to donate a stack of lunch coupons. Give each employee who meets your enrollment deadline a coupon, as well as a chance to win a Giftcard to that restaurant. You can use this idea for any type of business – grocery stores, car washes – the list is unlimited!
  5. Address communication problems.

Avoid industry jargon and, instead, focus on helping your audience understand how the plan functions. Explain available carrier tools for shopping providers, procedure costs, quality ratings, and mobile applications for wellness and plan details. Use visuals and examples to explain how a new plan change may impact them.

Michigan Planners Employee Communications Liaison Cindy Pavella reiterates the importance of reaching the employees.

“You can help employees realize the value of their benefits and help them pick the options to meet their current and future needs – but not with a larger open enrollment packet,” Pavella said. “For starters, provide links to YouTube and insurance company websites that feature short videos and tools. The impact is much greater.”

Final piece of advice? Start early. Pencil in 45 minutes next week to plan.

Implement at least two of the above mentioned tips. You will thank yourself in the end – and perhaps even enjoy Christmas shopping!

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