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The Top 5 Ways Benefits Professionals Can Improve Next Year’s Open Enrollment Process – Starting Today!

The paint has hardly dried on the 2023 plan year’s open enrollment, but it’s not too early to take stock of the things that can be done to make next year even better! After all, the pains and frustrations associated with this most recent OE season are still fresh – so use them as inspiration to make your life easier next time around. Here’s a quick roundup of process-improving priorities: 

1. Leverage Data & Analytics 

Ask your internal IT team and vendor partners what benefits-related data can be collected and who can work with you to extract actionable insights. Also, start work on a plan to solicit feedback from employees on their benefit expectations and experience to inform your benefits strategy and communications plan.  

About two-thirds of workers would trade their work-related data for more customized compensation, benefits and rewards.


2. Remove the Pain from Administration  

Your OE experience matters. Be honest about your biggest pain points. Maybe they include:  

  • Implementing new benefit options 
  • Incomplete employee records 
  • Configuring last-minute changes 
  • An inability to track enrollment completions and plan elections in real time 

Take them all to your internal stakeholders and benefit partners and make the necessary changes to your process and tech.

(The) complexity in benefits management often results in time consuming, manual daily tasks for employers. Operationally, this takes their HR resources away from doing the visionary strategic work for their firms that adds value to companies in the long term.

Shannon Boyle, Health and Benefits Expert

3. Provide a Modern Enrollment Experience 

Rise to the expectations of today’s employees – and beat the table stakes of top employers. Introduce a mobile app, gamify benefits education, personalize communications and make them actionable. Your workforce will thank you for it, and you just might have a more successful OE season to boot.  

58 percent of business leaders and consultants say their technology offerings are a factor in candidates’ decisions to work for them and 51 percent said outdated technology hampers their ability to compete for talent.

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services

4. Improve Benefits Education  

Simplify the complicated and crowded benefits landscape for employees by helping them understand, choose and use their benefits, all year long. Three ideas to consider: 

  • Replace jargon with relatable terms 
  • Enable them to estimate OOP costs for health plans based on actual claims 
  • Communicate with them about benefits on a regular basis. 
Almost half (41 percent) of employees say that their top complaint about their employers’ benefits programs is the communication is too infrequent.

Health Advocate

5. Plan for an Active (Not Passive) OE 

Don’t give employees an option to stay on auto pilot with their benefits elections. Requiring them to review and update their benefits at least once a year (not including an official qualifying life event change), encourages them to consider how to align their benefits with their unique needs and life situation.  

Active enrollment leads to higher participation rates and provides employers an opportunity to inform their employees of new policies or coverage plans.