A lot goes into finding the right open enrollment (OE) method this year as meeting in-person may no longer be possible. As a substitute for in-person meetings, consider virtual enrollment, telephonic enrollment, and self-enrollment. To find which method works best for your company, examine what solutions fit into your financial and logistic availability. Then review past enrollments and what was successful about them. Take those effective ideas and come up with a plan to meet employee needs with known successful strategies. Round out your knowledge and speak to a manager. They are a great resource for discussing potential disruptors to OE ease of access. Managers can tell you more specifically about employees varying levels of technological skills, language skills, and expectations of what system they are comfortable using to enroll. Next stop meet with your leadership team to further solidify an OE strategy. This leads to the second point: detailed and widespread communication about enrollment will make the OE process easier for everyone.
This OE season will require a lot of communication to help employees cope with the changes caused by the coronavirus. Virtual communication strategies like email campaigns, webinars, an online benefits fair are all meaningful ways to inform employees. Provide details about what to expect and supplemental information to help employees understand benefits and changes. Make effective dates, enrollment dates, plan contributions, and premiums easy to see as this information is vital. When it comes to enrolling, make sure employees understand the process and have access to resources that give detailed information on how to proceed if there is an issue or who to contact when questions about benefits arise.
Be prepared for the rising costs of healthcare. Plans set to renew in 2021 may see some increases in the cost of healthcare due to the coronavirus. As of right now, there are no fees associated with COVID-19 testing, but these and other costs associated with postponed elective surgeries, delayed treatment because of COVID-19, and many others could rise within the next year. There are a few things you can do ahead of time to mitigate these costs. For example, those with self-funded plans may feel the expenses are no longer cost efficient and switch to a group plan and vice versa for those already on group-plans to switch to self-funded. Reference based pricing is a great option if you want to set hard limits on what your company can pay then find facilities that are willing to accept that cost as payment-in-full. In the end, your company may need to reconsider their cost sharing structure to fully balance the upcoming costs.
Open Enrollment may prove even trickier this year than past years, but FBMC is here to help if you have any questions. Check out this website or call us today and we’ll work with you to find the right method of enrollment and comprehensive benefits to keep your workforce protected.