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HR Trends and Insights

3 Tips to Improve Your Open Enrollment Period

By November 1, 2018January 13th, 2022No Comments

Open enrollment for insurance and other benefits does not have to be stressful for HR folks or employees. However, study after study shows it can be a losing effort.

A Guardian study in 2017 found only 49 percent of employees knew their benefits once they were asked to prove they did. When asked, 80 percent of the employees had said they knew their benefits BEFORE the test.

In the 2018 Aflac WorkForces Report, 51 percent of employees said they understand their total costs for health insurance. However, only 20 percent said they know everything.

So there’s your challenge if you are in HR or run the benefits for your business. How do you simplify the benefits selection process — not just for insurance but for other benefits too?

For example, open enrollment is a great time to introduce commuter benefits or sign up your employees who are not taking advantage of saving up to 40 percent in commuting costs. Your company can save up to 7.65 percent in payroll taxes, so it makes sense to promote it.

Here are 3 ways you can make the open enrollment process better, and help your employees understand what they are getting.

1 – Ditch the big packets of information. Even if you read them down to the last sentence, your employees probably don’t. It’s better to have information flow via the method they prefer. Some employees may like the packets, and others may prefer emails or one-to-one meetings (if possible).

2 – Start way before open enrollment. If you are not communicating with your employees all year, 2019 is a great place to start. Not only do you need to send information on benefits, but you can also include financial or health wellness information, for example. When it’s time for open enrollment, you can communicate your new policies or changes.

3 – Health insurance is important, but don’t focus all your efforts on it. Highlight commuter benefits and other “fringe” benefits. Has something changed and an employee now needs to take care of a sick parent? Have you decided to offer tuition assistance? Is your company giving time off for volunteering? Open enrollment is a great time to introduce new benefits because you have your employees’ full attention. 

Whatever you do, think about taking a survey during your open enrollment to learn how you can do even better next time. For example, you might find out a company-wide pizza party/open enrollment event will generate a better response — and be a whole lot more fun.

Do you need to start saving money on payroll taxes? We thought so. Visit and let us show you how commuter benefits can save you and your employees money.  

 See how easy it is to start a commuter program in your company, download our free guide: