Wednesday May 1st, 2019
Open enrollment may be just around the corner for your business, and this time of year brings a lot of stress. Figuring out all the details and logistics around what will be offered to employees can take a lot of time and effort, let alone determining how to best communicate all the options to your employees. Even when you share resources and details about the available benefits, you may still be struggling with low participation rates.
Low enrollment can be caused by confusion among your employees who don’t understand the benefits of what you’re offering to them. What’s the difference between an FSA and an HSA? What are the benefits of a high-deductible health plan and who should choose it? Can I use the transit and parking plan for a bus pass? When employees have questions or experience confusion, they may not know where to turn for help.
By establishing a more effective and complete communication plan around your benefits package, you can answer these commonly asked questions and give your employees the information they need to make informed decisions.
In today’s digital age, providing visual information is easier than ever. Instead of emailing a pages-long document you expect every employee to review, schedule in-person meetings that employees can attend. Use this time to show visual representations of the most important details, such as stats, graphs, and tables. Include bulleted lists of what they can use different accounts for, including health flexible spending accounts, dependent care flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, and transit and parking plans.
Before the open enrollment period starts, establish a communication plan that uses multiple avenues to deliver information. Videos, emails, printed materials, and in-person meetings can all be part of that plan, ensuring you reach your entire workforce in a way that helps each individual employee feel comfortable. You can also put up visuals in high-traffic areas of the office, such as the break room or employee entrance.
If an employee does have a question about benefits, do they know who to ask? According to a study performed by SHRM, 73 percent of respondents believe that an HSA is the same as an FSA and that the same “use it or lose it” rule applies to the funds in an HSA. As high-deductible health plans become more common, employees may not understand that by electing this option, they’ll be responsible for paying a large portion of their health expenses until the deductible is met. These questions can raise real concerns among employees and strongly impact enrollment and participation numbers, so make sure they know who to ask for help.
By creating and implementing a consistent, wide-reaching communication plan you can improve the outcome of your open enrollment period this year while offering employees the benefit options they can use and appreciate.