It's officially Fall, and you know what that means! Yes, it means pumpkin spice lattes and Sunday night football parties. But it also signals the approach of Open Enrollment.
Open Enrollment is the window of time when a business's benefit-eligible employees can enroll or update their choices in programs or benefits offered by their employers. Attempting to make changes outside of the open enrollment period requires a qualifying event or reason to modify their selections, so they need to choose wisely.
The open enrollment period typically runs from November 1 to December 15 each year. That gives employees 45 days to review all available options and choose the plans and benefits that will work best for them and their families.
But the whole process begins much earlier for employers. Prior to November 1, small and mid-sized businesses must work with insurance carriers to gather all relevant materials, including any changes to current policies and enrollment forms, additional benefits, etc. They must then generate and distribute employee packages that including all the information employees need to review before making their choices.
Once the information has been issued, employers will need to track who has returned their application forms and who has not. Your open enrollment administrators need to ensure that employees return forms on time, are correctly filled in, and properly signed. Your team may need to send out reminders as the deadline approaches.
So, where do you start? Here are some tips for employers:
Communicate Early! Open enrollment can be a stressful experience for even the most tenured employees. Once you have solidified your next year's plan offerings (especially medical), compile and send documentation to your employees so they have plenty of time before their enrollment period begins to make an educated decision.
Consider an FAQ page. Each year may bring the same questions from your employees - How do I update my dependents? What is a deductible? How can I tell if my Primary Care Provider is in-network? If this is the case, consider providing your employees with a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page or email. You can even add it as a company bulletin for your employees on GreenEmployee, a mobile app that allows employees to easily see their employee information.)
Solidify your setup. With work from home becoming the new norm for many employers, going paperless with an online benefit enrollment system makes good sense. Greenshades provides employees with one easy-to-use platform to view benefit documentation, update their dependents, and compare plans to choose the best election for them and their families. To ensure the smoothest process for you and your employees, start your open enrollment setup in Greenshades as early as you can. If you would like help from Greenshades experts in setting up your new plan, contact us for more information on our new concierge Open Enrollment Setup service.
Automate your provider connections. Once you have solidified your health insurance benefits, consider automating enrollment data to your carriers with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Greenshades offers health, dental, and vision EDI carrier feeds. Setup can take up to 12 weeks, so now is the time to start.
You can never start too early to prepare both your HR team and your employees for the upcoming open enrollment period. We can make it easier for you and your teams. Contact our experts at Greenshades today.
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