As the end of the year approaches, we know it can be overwhelming as a business owner to navigate the different requirements, timelines, and benefit options without HR expertise. In last week’s blog, we examined the first three things you should do to prepare for benefits renewal:
- Survey Your Employees About Their Benefits Needs
- Educate Yourself on Growing Trends and Your Competitors’ Benefits Packages
- Brush Up on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Be Sure Your Business is in Compliance
Benefits are important to both employers and employees alike. It’s important to review your current benefits, decide what needs to change, if any, and guide and educate employees with frequent, clear, and accurate communication. Here are the next things you should do to help prepare, which are recommendations 4-6 in our two-part series:
4. Consider Bringing in an Outside Expert to Help Guide the OE Process for You
Whether it’s an independent consultant you bring in just to help you through the OE period, or a representative from your current benefits provider that is available throughout the year, look to an expert to help your employees understand what may be changing in their package and how they’ll be personally impacted if they elect to make a change. They may also be able to purchase or supplement coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and will likely need guidance in completing that step.
5. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Develop a communications plan to get the word out effectively about OE and encourage your employees to ask questions and elect to make changes sooner rather than later. Use a creative, layered approach that reaches employees often and through different formats, combining email, print, text and in-person meetings (try an informal OE breakfast break or pizza party).
6. Recognize Online Open Enrollment is Key
As an employer, you not only provide a salary, but are also increasingly asked to be an integral part of your employees’ wellbeing, ensuring personal needs are both understood and met.
Your employees are growing increasingly accustomed to managing most aspects of their life online. They’re consumers both outside and inside the workplace. Online enrollment helps streamline this process for employers and employees alike, minimizing errors, and providing added layers of communication that will help boost benefits utilization in the future. As a business owner, you juggle enough responsibilities. Open enrollment doesn’t need to be one of them when you work with a PEO like AspenHR.