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How to communicate with and help employees through choosing workplace benefits
Companies are preparing to kick off open enrollment for their employees to choose their workplace benefits. Health, vision, dental, life insurance ... even pet insurance may be up for grabs.
How can HR professionals best communicate with employees about their choices, when many workers are unfamiliar with the language and concepts of benefits offerings? What's the best way to help employees through open enrollment season?
Take a look at our primer below for ways to start the conversation, and at our glossary of common (and commonly misunderstood) terms. Our news articles offer lots of tips on educating employees and helping them make great choices.
What is open enrollment for benefits?
In the U.S., open enrollment season is a period of time when employees may elect or change the benefit options available through their employer, such as health, dental and life insurance, and ancillary or voluntary benefits ranging from legal services to pet insurance. Some benefits are fully paid by the employer, some are employee paid through salary deferral, using a section 125 cafeteria plan, and for some the cost is shared.
When do most companies have open enrollment?
Most companies schedule open enrollment to end a few weeks before enrollment forms must be submitted to benefit providers. For calendar-year benefit plans starting Jan. 1, open enrollment often takes place in November, with enrollment information sent to vendors in early December. Employers usually try to ensure that all their benefits have the same plan year so that only one open enrollment period is needed.
How long does open enrollment have to be?
Open enrollment is not required to be a certain length of time. Most employers have an open enrollment period of at least two to four weeks.
Open Enrollment Resources
Open Enrollment Articles
· Looking for more news, tips and tools regarding open enrollment season? Find all of SHRM's open enrollment content here.
Sponsor: ALEX by Jellyvision
When it comes to benefits communication, a little humor can go a long way. Done right, it can delight and surprise your employees, keep them engaged, and motivate them to take action. In this program, David Daskal, a benefits communication expert for Jellyvision, will share seven actionable tips for incorporating appropriately humor into your benefits communication strategy in a way that gets the results you want.
New Employee Benefits Models to Save Money in 2017Sponsor:
As they search for the right benefits mix, many companies are exploring new models: self-funded, level-funded, defined contributions, private exchanges and more. Learn more about these new approaches to employee benefits and how to determine which one fits your company best. And, hear first-hand from a company that successfully implemented a self-funded employee benefits approach.
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