The holidays and New Year are fast approaching, but there’s another big event we have to tackle first: Open enrollment season.
While pretty much everyone would agree that it’s decidedly less fun, it is none-the-less necessary and can present a significant burden to the small business owner. Luckily, Abel HR’s network of human resource professionals collected their top tips for navigating the weeks of sign up madness, plus crafted a handy checklist to review.
Do Your Legwork Early
Much of the work associated with open enrollment season should come before that first day in November. For the small business owner, you can save yourself stress by connecting early with a full-service Professional Employer Organization (PEO) like Abel HR, and discussing the merits of various plans and narrowing down the choices early so that you can find with the plans with the best fit for your needs and budget. Doing the legwork early can also include drafting emails, making signage to post around the office, and creating other avenues to convey information about the benefits process.
Notify Your Employees
You might have been working on securing the best benefits package for months (Abel has quite the selection to meet any need), but your employees are often blissfully unaware that enrollment season is approaching and thus may feel blindsided and require extra time to render their benefits decisions. By alerting them upfront to key dates, and potentially even sharing some information on the types of plans you will be offering, you may be able to significantly streamline the sign-up process. Abel HR’s benefits professionals can help smooth this process along with their years of experience and help field the questions and concerns from your employees.
Create a Chain of Command
When you disseminate information about the benefits offerings – particularly if you are making any significant (or sometimes not so significant) changes – there are bound to be questions. As the boss, it is unrealistic that you be in charge of addressing all these concerns. Instead, you can engage with human resource professionals who do nothing but answer these questions at a PEO.
Keep Up with Your Contacts
If you retained a human resource solution like Abel HR, you did so not just to get access to plans, but also to get support throughout the enrollment period. While employees will come to you with questions, the contact information for the PEO should also be passed along to your employees so that they don’t have to go through you to get advice should they have a blush-worthy question to ask.
Whether this is your first or your fiftieth enrollment season, they never seem to go off without a hitch. Take notes on what modes of communication worked best for your employees, which questions continually came up, which plans proved most popular for your workers, and even which efforts fell flat. You can then reference this data in the run-up to the next open enrollment season to try and further streamline it in the future.
Overwhelmed? Our human resource professionals can assist with every step of the benefits enrollment process from finding the perfect plan with custom options to making sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed to ensuring compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Ask us how or call us at 800-400-1968.