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As a business leader, you care about the health and wellness of your employees. Take great pride in offering and supporting employee efforts to enroll in affordable and comprehensive health insurance plans.

During open enrollment, you can’t make employee selections for them, but you can make sure they have all the tools and resources they need to make intelligent and affordable decisions for themselves. Today, we’ll share 3 ways to support employees as they navigate open enrollment.

Communication Strategies to Help Employees

Don’t leave your teams all alone to make their health plan decisions. Of course, your Human Resources managers want to avoid interfering. Constant communication, especially during open enrollment and special enrollment periods, is essential in ensuring your employees follow through with their enrollments.

Timeline Reminders

If your employees aren’t aware of open enrollment or timeline deadlines, they could inadvertently miss opportunities for enrollment. Make smart use of reminders for them from start to finish so no one ever misses a critical enrollment deadline. Consider offering countdowns with notifications via email, text, or calendar reminders. Open enrollment doesn’t stay open indefinitely. And special enrollment periods have limits, as well. Timeline support is absolutely worth exploring as part of your communication support strategy for employees.

You Can Never Go Wrong with FAQs

You know how to avoid jargon in your business when talking to potential customers. Apply that same philosophy to your employees during open enrollment. Don’t presume they understand the differences between copays and coinsurance. Instead, put together helpful FAQs to help them better select coverage options that work best. Insurance coverage terms can be complicated. As the employer, you can shed some light on those complex industry-related terms to help.

Customized Support

Providing general support to your staff during open enrollment is definitely helpful. But don’t be afraid to also customize your support. Keep communications clear, brief, and transparent so ideas don’t get glossed over in quick review. And be available to help answer specific questions as employees have them. Additionally, you can develop a support network designed to be open in assisting them in finding the specific answers they need using other resources.

Make Health Insurance Easy to Select

Your employees will likely tell you that there is nothing fun about enrolling in health insurance. In fact, some might prefer to have dental work done than try to decipher or compare coverages online. As an employer, you can explore fresh ways to take the confusion and tedious nature out of open enrollment.

An Emphasis on Health

Remind your teams of the importance of health, including mental, physical, and financial. Then, support them as they determine what “healthy” means to them and point them to the resources they need to follow through on those wellness goals.

Create Incentives

Encourage your teams to keep up with enrollment efforts with a few fun incentives. You can inspire them to start a workout plan by offering them a discounted gym membership. You can encourage employees to download telehealth apps for therapy or clinicians with the lure of a raffle or front-row parking. Whatever you decide to do, keep it focused on a better outcome of better health and wellness.

Employee Assistance Programs

For some business models, there are additional programs available that serve as resourceful benefits to employees outside of the traditional coverage plans. A confidential counseling service provided by employers to their workers to assist them in both their professional and personal lives is known as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Depending on your company’s policy, EAPs may also include benefits to immediate family members.

Build a Culture Around Wellness Priorities

As part of your efforts to support employees during the open enrollment, look for ways to build an entire culture around wellness priorities. That way, any tools and resources you do provide will remind staff that you care about their health and health insurance enrollment. And efforts you make during open enrollment will continue throughout the remainder of the year in contribution to your overall company culture.

Definitions of Terms

Start by developing a culture of transparency and understanding. Remove the veil of complexity around insurance coverage options by providing clear definitions of terms and provisions. If you’re offering a group plan, make sure employees understand every aspect, from coverage basics to deductibles and copays. If you’re leaning into an ICHRA, offer guides and definitions to help staff understand how your reimbursements work. Whatever your company endorses as viable health insurance options, take the time to clearly define every step and term associated.

Tools and Resources

In some of the open enrollment processes, your employees will simply have to decide without your help. But you can still make resources available, should teams need them. For example, you can’t decide what makes Tom’s insurance coverage affordable or not. But you can offer him cost estimate tools and calculators that help him try to predict his anticipated expenses. These and other tools that make it easier for employees to compare plans are always encouraged.

W3LL Can Help

While you’re busy looking for ways to support your employees during the open enrollment, don’t forget about the wealth of resources W3LL has to offer. If your company ICHRA, for example, requires participants to explore ACA marketplace plans, W3LL can help. But we can also be a support resource at the company level, with third-party administrator support and dashboard management options.

Open enrollment is always a critical time of year for you and your employees. Tap into these suggestions to ensure you’re doing what you can to support them as they navigate their plan options. And as always, W3LL can be that layer of support for your company and your employees with everything from digital engagement, ACA marketplace comparisons, ICHRA management, and more! So contact us to get the help you need to, in turn, help your employees!

Pete English With nearly two decades in health insurance, Pete English’s diverse experience makes him uniquely qualified to help health plans and brokers leverage innovative technology in partnership with W3LL. From growing sales staff by 126% over 4 years at a large health plan, to building his own health insurance brokerage firm from scratch with over $7.2MM in annualized premium, Pete has done it all.

Pete English
(631) 681-4898
PEnglish@w3ll.com