The open enrollment process is incredibly important to the individual employee: the decisions that are made will impact more than just that employee – they will make their mark on family members as well as the pocketbook.
Employers understand that open enrollment presents many emotional decisions for employees. That makes the process all the more difficult.
Even as employees are attempting to manage their own costs, an employer often has to deal with a double-digit increase in group benefit insurance premiums. A company may be forced to reduce benefits in spite of the impact on employees – a process that should not be rushed. In order to make the right decisions, an organization needs time to sort through all feasible options.
That said, there are two important signs that will indicate trouble ahead for the open enrollment process.
The first, a lack of information, occurs when a health insurance broker doesn’t brief an organization thoroughly. For example, if a broker comes to a company without enough options to choose from, that company might believe that there is only one viable option.
Lack of information leads to lack of understanding. If a company wants to change a plan but cannot comprehend the details of that plan, there is trouble ahead. By buying into a plan without understanding it, an employer will be unable to answer the great many employee questions that will certainly arise.
The second sign of open enrollment trouble is a lack of time. If an employer is being rushed into making decisions, there won’t be enough time to review the plan in detail. Because the employees will be making emotional decisions during open enrollment, it is important that they have enough time to really understand everything that is happening beforehand.
To ensure that open enrollment comes off without a hitch, it’s important to get an early start. Also, an employer should have a firm grasp of the details of the new benefits in order to explain them to employees. An experienced employee benefit consultant will be able to explain benefits in depth. By understanding the plan in detail, there will be no question that it is the right one for the organization as a whole.