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25 Open Enrollment Tips to Help Employees Submit Their Benefits On Time

Open Enrollment Kit
open enrollment tips

It’s almost that time of year again – open enrollment season. If you’re looking for open enrollment tips to help you encourage employees to make their selections on time, we’ve got you covered.

Take Open Enrollment employee participation to the next level with these must-have communications templates.

The open enrollment period is the only window of opportunity for workers to enroll in or change their benefits plan without a qualifying life event. For HR leaders, getting all employees to enroll before the deadline can be a challenge. But with a solid open enrollment communication strategy, companies can increase overall engagement and participation rates among their workforce

Let’s take a look at the best healthcare open enrollment tips to boost participation and help your team submit their healthcare elections on time.

Top 25 Open Enrollment Tips for Employers

Open enrollment plays a significant role in employee satisfaction. 

35% of employees said that apart from an increased salary, improving their benefits package is the number one thing their employer could do to keep them in their jobs.

While employers can’t always change benefits from year to year, they can improve how employees understand their benefits choices and guide them through the process

Let’s look at open enrollment ideas that will streamline open enrollment season for both employees and HR teams.

1. Start Communicating Early

Beekeeper's guide to communicating early with employees

Give employees ample time to research their options and submit their elections on time.

2. Go Digital

Reaching employees via email or snail mail may not be the most effective, especially for non-desk and remote workers. Mobile communication platforms like Beekeeper deliver reminders and resources in real-time.

3. Create and Share a Timeline

Being unsure about deadlines can be stressful for employees. Sending a clear timeline before open enrollment season starts gives employees enough time to prepare for making their selections. 

4. Offer a “Less is More” Approach

Beekeeper's guide to why less is more

Some employees may be willing to spend time researching their benefits options. Others might prefer to only know the basics before enrolling.

5. Keep Communication Brief

Sending all the information employees need about open enrollment in one go can be overwhelming. Bite-sized messages that address individual questions or remind employees about deadlines can deliver information in a less intimidating way.

6. Be Clear About Changes

Employees need to understand what benefits they currently have, what they are gaining or losing that year, and how those changes will affect them. Being upfront about the basics will help to prevent confusion down the road.

7. Survey Employees

Mobile platforms like Beekeeper have survey features that let companies collect and analyze employee feedback, helping HR improve their open enrollment communication strategy.

8. Leverage Multiple Communication Channels

While some employees might prefer concise messages on their mobile devices, others might get more value out of an hour-long webinar or in-person information session.

9. Clarify Consequences for Missing Deadlines

What happens when an employee doesn’t select their benefits on time? Explaining the consequences can prompt employees to take the deadline more seriously.

10. Use Real-Life Examples

Creating walk-throughs of the enrollment process using real individuals with specific healthcare concerns can help employees relate better.

11. Make it Fun

making open enrollment fun with Beekeeper

Open enrollment doesn’t have to be boring. Offering special lunches, giving out prizes, or simply using a more lighthearted tone can make the process a little more enjoyable.

12. Focus on Education

One survey found that only 9% of Americans understood the four most based health insurance terms. Teaching employees about what their benefits mean can help them make more informed decisions.

13. Get Leadership On Board

When company leadership participates in Q&A sessions or shares their open enrollment status, this shows employees that the company is invested in supporting them.

14. Leverage Your Benefits Partners

If your company is working with other organizations during open enrollment, they probably have valuable resources you can incorporate into your communication strategy.

15. Encourage Active Enrollment

While many employees choose to “roll over” their benefits from year to year, passive enrollment may cause them to end up with a plan that doesn’t suit their needs.

16. Offer Tools for Better Decision Making

Beekeeper's guide to better decision making for open enrollment

Providing calculators and cost estimate tools that support a numbers-driven benefits approach makes it easier for employees to compare plans.

17. Centralize Resources

Using a single platform organizes updates, timelines, and resources so employees don’t have to waste time searching for open enrollment information.

18. Be Prepared to Answer Questions

Chances are, your open enrollment communication won’t be self-explanatory. Listing a contact at the end of messaging and hosting frequent Q&A sessions shows employees that you’re there to help.

19. Keep an Eye on Employees Who Don’t Engage

There will always be a segment of your workforce that doesn’t open enrollment-related communication at all. Getting them to make the first step makes it more likely they’ll continue to get involved.  

20. Avoid Jargon

Employees may not be familiar with all terms related to open enrollment. Explaining the process without using jargon makes it more understandable and accessible.

21. Remind Employees About Life Changes

Telling employees to consider changes like new additions to the family or dependents about to age out of coverage avoids any last-minute surprises during benefits planning.

22. Create a Year-Round Plan

Organizing health-related initiatives like on-site screenings or fitness classes throughout the year makes employees better informed – and healthier – going into the open enrollment season.

23. Use Visuals

Charts, graphs, gifs, memes – these are all great ways to illustrate the open enrollment process, particularly for comparing different benefits options and plans.

24. Define Success

defining open enrollment success with Beekeeper

Increased numbers of employees who enroll early, message open rates, and resource downloads are all ways to measure the success of your communication plan.

25. Conduct Post-Enrollment Surveys

Even if you don’t send out surveys during the enrollment period, asking employees to reflect on their experience will help HR teams improve it for the following year.

How Beekeeper Helps with Open Enrollment

How do you incorporate all of these tips into one communication strategy?

A mobile platform like Beekeeper allows companies to:

  • Reach their frontline workforce via their mobile devices
  • Message employees early and often about open enrollment 
  • Ensure employees have read and confirmed critical updates with confirmation campaigns  
  • Conduct surveys to track the effectiveness of their strategy

With Beekeeper, open enrollment communication is accessible for all employees and more streamlined for your HR team.

Ready to boost your open enrollment participation? Get full access to our template library below!