Open enrollment comes around every year and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and headaches for you and your HR staff. According to Paycor, 42% of employers still have their employees enroll in benefits manually. So, before you nail down your 2021 benefits plans, HR leaders take note—the open enrollment process doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right technology and expertise, you can save a great deal of time and trouble.
When is 2021 open enrollment?
Open enrollment is a period during the year, usually one or two months, when companies allow their employees to make changes or additions to their elected fringe benefits such as health insurance, unemployment benefits or retirement plans.
Perhaps that includes investing in a new benefits administration solution or reorganizing your plans to suit a multigenerational workforce. Getting organized ahead of time will help streamline open enrollment. Keep in mind that some states have their own enrollment platforms for health insurance, so be sure to review your state requirements.
Be prepared for open enrollment:
- Obtain renewal numbers and rates from your carriers for the coming plan year
- Analyze costs and decide to switch carriers or not
- Communicate with employees about any changes this year (especially pertaining to the Affordable Care Act) and prepare them for the open enrollment process
Once open enrollment begins, you should:
- Collect all the relevant information from your employees
- Update payroll with the new deductions
- Notify your carriers of changes and new enrollments
How can I overcome the challenges?
- Go paperless. At many companies, employees fill out a form with their benefit elections and send it to HR to be recorded and filed. That’s a lot of time and paper. Employers build their plans online, and their employees sign in to make their elections at home, in the office, or anywhere. Paycor’s Perform HR and benefits solutions allow employees to view benefit plan summaries and other documents, receive updates on uncompleted enrollment tasks and review how their elections will affect their compensation.
- Eliminate unnecessary data entry. Once employees have made all of their elections, HR has to input all of the updated information into their payroll system, which poses the risk of human error. Since Paycor has a single system of record, which means no double-entry, we save you time and eliminate the chance of error.
- Access reporting and analytics. It’s impossible to make smart decisions about benefits without data. Paycor’s Perform HR allows employers to access status reports to see the progress of the current open enrollment, compare coverage costs from different years and gauge how employee election trends from year to year. With the right HR reports, companies are able to make informed decisions about their benefit coverage and costs.
- Enjoy seamless connectivity to carriers. After all the benefit election information is updated in your system, there is still the matter of notifying carriers. Paycor’s Carrier Connect pushes all enrollments directly to the carriers for a small additionalfee. Instead of having to update benefits in multiple places, you only have to do it once.
- Communicate. We surveyed hundreds of HR leaders and found that 61% of employees are confused about the benefits offered at their organizations. To alleviate this confusion, employers most hold ‘benefit conversations’ throughout the year, not just during open enrollment. The topic of benefits is often complicated and very dry, so having a well-developed ‘benefits marketing program’ can help ensure your employees fully understand their options.
Since there are currently five generations participating in the workforce, one blanketed communication method won’t cover everyone. Consider these additional ways to reach your entire workforce:
- Company intranet
- Posters and banners
- Paycheck inserts
The open enrollment process can be challenging, but not if you let Paycor’s Perform HR simplify it for you. Want to learn more? Contact us to speak to one of our consultants today.