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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 or 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.
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
Stay Competitive with Benefits or Risk Employee FlightDoes your company offer the benefits that most employees want? If not, you may be wasting money and finding it hard to hire and retain valued employees.
Know What You Need to Select a Benefits ProviderAs vendor choices grow and benefits technology evolves, it's more important than ever that benefits leaders know what they need to know when selecting benefits administration partners.
Employees, Stressed by Benefits Decisions, Want More HelpEmployees are dazed and confused by the health-benefits selection process, a new survey report reveals. While two-thirds of workers were confident in their ability to make informed benefits choices, nearly as many would welcome benefits advice from a third-party advisor or an online program.
Ready for Prime Time? Using Video in Benefits CommunicationA compelling video can go a long way toward getting employees to respond to benefits-related communication. While video has long been a part of employee benefits communication, recent developments are taking it to a new level.
Use Voluntary Benefits to Attract and Keep Part-Time WorkersPart-time employees typically are not eligible for their company's core benefits offerings and oftentimes can feel left out. Offering part-timers access to employee-paid voluntary benefits can help to keep them onboard.
At Open Enrollment, HR Departments of One Step UpEnrollment season puts extra pressures on departments of one, but these HR pros are up to the challenge. Their success carries lessons for HR teams of all sizes.
Open Enrollment Tips for the Coming SeasonThe fall open enrollment season is a time that some HR professionals dread as an administrative nightmare while others see an opportunity to personally engage with employees, and to help them make choices that will safeguard their health and financial well-being. Here are some suggestions for avoiding the former and achieving the latter.
Address HSA Misconceptions During Open Enrollment Open enrollment is an opportunity to help employees understand the value of a health savings account (HSA), but many employers make common mistakes that undermine their communication efforts. For instance, don’t apologize for offering a high-deductible plan with an HSA, but focus on the long-term health-savings advantages.
11 Marketing Best Practices to Make Employees Pay Attention to—and Act on—Your Open Enrollment CommunicationPresenter: Bob ArmourSponsored by ALEX by JellyvisionDate of presentation: July 2017
Open Enrollment Bootcamp: 12 Tips for Better Benefits Guides, Presentations, Emails...And More!Presenter: Kris DunnSponsored by ALEX by JellyvisionDate of presentation: May 2017
Best Practices In Open Enrollment: Are You and Your Employees Making the Right Choices?Presenter: Kim BuckeySponsored by Pet Insurance from NationwideDate of presentation: March 2017
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