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Preparing for Open Enrollment

Knowledge Center / Blog

Preparing for Open Enrollment

By The Employer Group - Oct 10, 2023

Open enrollment is a period during which employees can enroll in or change their insurance plan selections that are ordinarily subject to restrictions. Open enrollment can be daunting, no matter how many employees you have, so a strong plan to prepare for, roll out, and audit your open enrollment process can result in a positive outcome for everyone involved.

  1. Start Planning Early.
    • Clearly understand your benefit plans and any changes that may have been made to them – either by your company or the carriers.
    • Create a renewal timeline to keep your team on track.
    • Make deadlines and stick to them.
  2. Develop Communications.
    • Use language that is clear and concise.
    • Give employees contact information or ways to ask questions through your HR system.
    • Provide multiple reminders of the importance of open enrollment and deadlines.
    • Ensure follow-up with any employees who made changes to confirm their new elections.
  3. Provide Resources and Support to Employees.
    • Share webinars, benefit fairs, email campaigns, and presentations that are easily accessible and familiar to your staff.
    • Offer one-on-one consulting with employees.
    • Ensure employees are getting current benefit summaries or other carrier plan information.
  4. Make it Easy to Enroll.
    • Enhance the enrollment process to become more streamlined, whether you’re a small company without an HRIS, or a larger company using a system.
  5. Review, Enroll, and Audit.
    • Develop a plan to review employee elections as a way for you to understand the changes.
    • Develop an auditing plan to ensure what employees chose is what’s been captured in any HRIS and by the carriers.
  6. Be Prepared for Issues After Open Enrollment Ends.
    • Decide how you will respond to employees who want to make changes but didn’t meet the Open Enrollment deadline. Will you allow for changes or not? If so, what circumstances will you accept for a late enrollment, and which won’t you?
    • If your audit catches an error, have a plan on how the error will be fixed and communicate the error and resolution to all parties affected.
    • Conduct a postmortem: What worked, what didn’t, and what will we change next year?

Benefit administration is time-consuming, requires laser focus on detail and communication, and can positively – or negatively – affect your business, your employees, and their families. If benefit administration keeps you up at night, you could “benefit” from The Employer Group’s expertise.


This information does not constitute legal advice.

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