Open enrollment season is here! 2020 has been an unprecedented year and has changed our lives in ways we never expected. After all the craziness this year has brought, now employees are also expected to make decisions regarding their benefits. You must be asking yourself: What does this mean for your open enrollment?
At the Olson Group, we want our clients to know that just because the world is changing, our main mission has never wavered. We are committed to helping employees make the best benefit decisions for themselves and their families.
This year, open enrollment has raised a lot of questions. Below we answered important questions, that will help you better prepare for upcoming open enrollment.
How do I help my employees through open enrollment?
We understand benefits can be confusing, after all, 45% of employees are anxious about open enrollment. Knowing how your employees are feeling when going into open enrollment will help you better understand what they are looking for when it comes to their benefits.
Typically, 73% of employees only spend an hour or less on benefits decisions. Because of the pandemic, employees are more concerned about their open enrollment this year.
Open Communication and Transparency
Communicating with your employees is key. Making sure to let your employees know what is going on will help put their minds at ease and streamline the process. People are scared. They don’t know what tomorrow might hold and so it is important to be upfront with them, especially about something as important as their benefits.
It’s no longer just about what benefits you offer; it is also about making sure your employees understand their benefit options. In March, a study was conducted by Colonial Life about benefits enrollment. It was reported that 90% of employees did not understand their benefits. If they do not understand their options how will they feel valued or make the best benefit decision?
Working with a benefit advisor will certainly help employees understand their benefits and make better decisions. We are here to provide the materials and resources needed to make sure employees receive the best open enrollment possible. Because COVID-19 has impacted our world, it is now more important than ever that your employees take their benefit decisions more seriously and truly understand their options.
What is open enrollment going to look like?
Open enrollment will look different this year. There is no set rule on how your open enrollment is going to happen and that is a benefit to you. Our priority is safety, and we will do what is most comfortable for your business needs. This allows you to customize how you would like this process to go.
Now, there are multiple options on how your open enrollment could be offered. You may decide to keep it the status-quo and allow for a broker to visit your organization in person and work with your employees like normal.
Or you may decide to alter that a little bit and have your benefit advisor meet with employees in the office, but in smaller groups or one-on-one. This lets employees ask questions in a more private environment.
Maybe, your open enrollment has shifted to a virtual platform. By offering a virtual open enrollment your employees can listen in a comfortable environment and have their significant other/family listen too. If offering a virtual platform, make sure your cybersecurity is properly updated.
Even though you may not physically “see” your benefit advisor, we are still going to provide the same great service we always have. At least one thing hasn’t changed!
What benefits are employees desiring this open enrollment?
A recent survey by MetLife showed that employees are going to spend more time choosing their benefits and have specific benefits interests this year.
Another survey by MetLife showed that 74% of employees are worried about their well-being.
Priorities have shifted, and employees want to know that both themselves and their families are going to be taken care of. We have already lost so much, now it’s time to re-build and that starts with knowing what coverage employees value most.
If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that we need to be prepared for anything. COVID has had an effect on how employees view their benefits and emphasized the need to feel secure.
According to MetLife, 69% of employees have a goal to improve their financial health. The same MetLife survey showed that “workers understand that benefits play a vital role in achieving financial security and will use this year’s enrollment to be more deliberate in how they use these offerings moving forward.”
With more employees determined to be financially secure, employers need to be aware of what employees are looking for.
Mental Health and Wellness
Over the years mental health has become more of a prevalent concern. Because of the pandemic, it is a bigger concern than ever. Many workers have been confined to their homes for weeks on end. They have to wear many hats all at the same time. Not only were they employees, but also mothers, fathers, teachers, entertainers, etc. It added extra stress, plus they were also worried about their overall health, job security, and much more. With open enrollment employees are wanting more or expanded mental health coverage.
Life insurance seemed like something that may have been kind of important but wasn’t going to be needed for a while. However, COVID-19 has taught us that may not be the case. If or when something happens to employees, they want to make sure their families are provided for. One in four employees wants life insurance this year.
We know the future is uncertain, but we are here to help you navigate through it all. COVID-19 has changed the way employees are looking at their benefits. Our goal is to help your employees understand their benefits and then make the best decision.
TOGether we will get through this.