Skip to content

Taking the Stress Out of Open Enrollment

According to a survey by Glassdoor, health insurance is the benefit that most significantly impacts employee satisfaction. However, it can also be the benefit that causes the most confusion, especially during open enrollment.

Nearly half of employees (49%) say that making health insurance decisions is always stressful for them, according to a survey by ALEX Benefits.

And among those whose companies offer health insurance, 36% feel the open enrollment process at their organization is extremely confusing.

The good news is that you can help your team cut through the confusion, make informed decisions and beat the deadline.

Communicate Early, Often and Everywhere

Leave your employees no excuse for skipping open enrollment:

  • For some, email is the way to go, while millennials might prefer texts. Use several varied methods to get the word out about deadlines.
  • Hand out bags of popcorn or let’s face it, chocolate (because chocolate commands attention,) with a sticker with the open enrollment deadline and web address.
  • Post signs with the deadline by your employee time clock or on your staff refrigerator.
  • Hand out a list of FAQs based on what employees have been confused by in the past.
  • Host an informational coffee break for benefit questions. This is also a great time to share any health plan comparison tools that may be offered online.

You Snooze, You Lose

Make sure your team appreciates that this is a limited opportunity. When it comes to open enrollment, if you don’t participate you can’t change your benefits for another year, barring some life event. This is especially relevant for employees who have not been happy with their current coverage or if premium costs have changed over past year. Not to mention, there are penalties for forgoing coverage. (Check out the Individual Shared Responsibility Calculator for specifics.)

Accentuate the Positive

Don’t just use scare tactics. Offer positive incentives to boost participation, especially early participation:

  • Give a raffle entry for employees who complete their enrollment within the first week. (The reward could be a PTO day or gift card.)
  • Serve free lunch to those who attend a Benefits “Lunch and Learn.”
  • Have an enrollment competition between departments to get other managers on-board in helping nudge everyone along.

In Your Corner

Did you know your payroll provider can help streamline your open enrollment process with helpful tools including:

  • Email alerts so your employees don’t miss deadlines.
  • Customized welcome messages with documents your employees need to sign off on attached.
  • The ability to select a benefit dependent on a different benefit.

Let us take some of the stress out of open enrollment so you can focus on winning at your business!