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Human resources professionals know that there is a rising problem within the organization — healthcare costs that may seem to be spiraling out of control. When you work with your staff members to find solutions to this problem, you can find that there are significant savings that can be created for the organization without causing a negative impact or additional costs for employees. See how you can create a cohesive partnership with your staff members around employee benefits by engaging them in conversations early. Create tools that will help employees understand their benefits and how they can be used and launch new processes that make completing annual enrollment a breeze.
Waiting until your annual enrollment period rolls around to start the conversation around employee benefits could backfire on your staff. When your employees feel as though they are up against a deadline, they could easily panic and make decisions that could end up expanding your healthcare costs instead of keeping them under control. When you take time to provide an ongoing stream of education about healthcare benefits throughout the year, employees are much more open to making decisions when annual enrollment periods roll around. That way, your staff can feel more in control of their healthcare costs and more confident in making decisions that will help reduce expenses for staff and your company alike.
If you are working with a benefits professional, they may be able to provide you with specific communications tools, such as a calendar or timeline about topics that can be shared throughout the year. This type of information allows you to keep employees interested and engaged, all the while educating them on the best options for their unique needs. Simply sending a reminder every month that “Enrollment time is around the corner!” is not enough — you need to provide interesting and engaging topics or your staff members will not be willing to read the information that is being provided.
Few things are more frustrating than busywork, particularly when you are having to fill out the same information multiple times on different forms. Creating a more streamlined annual enrollment application and renewal process starts with ruthlessly driving out redundancies and creating a more streamlined flow of information throughout your organization. In many cases, this means shifting from an old-school printed annual enrollment process to a web-based solution. There is a range of benefits of moving in this direction, such as more efficient time-management for employees and your benefits staff. Plus, you’ll find that digital enrollment platforms provide enhanced security options that reduce the chance that an individual’s personal or confidential healthcare information could be misplaced or stolen. Maintaining this higher degree of security has another benefit, too. It can also help provide quicker audits and cleaner programs that are more dynamic and friendly to use and administer.
Your benefits enrollment period can be quite confusing for employees, particularly when there are significant changes from year to year. Help ward off those issues when you create or source useful tools such as spreadsheets or overviews of the various plans and how they might benefit staff members. Consider working up examples for a family of four, a single staff member as well as someone who is close to retirement age. Each group will have unique needs, and helping staff members see how their benefits can best be utilized through the years can help them make good decisions about their annual benefits enrollments. Another option is to gather the frequently asked questions throughout the years and compile this information into a single resource that can be shared with new and current staff members to help reduce their overall healthcare costs. With this type of resource available, employees feel more comfortable self-serving their needs and can reserve more detailed questions for your team.
When you’re ready to see the difference that having a proactive partner for your employee benefits can make, contact the professionals at ESIS at 916-248-4777. We provide a wide range of free tools and resources to our clients — and the community — such as our free downloadable PDF: 8 Ways to Reduce Employee Benefits Costs. Each year, we expand the range of our tools to help ensure that your team has everything needed to create a seamless, painless and convenient annual enrollment process for your staff while managing healthcare costs.