Regardless of how many times you’ve done it, open enrollment can be a bit tedious. As a result below are some tips that have been developed by many large businesses to ensure the process is as seamless and hassle free as possible. It includes all the things you should be doing prior to, during and after open enrollment has been completed.
Six To Eight Weeks Before OE
During this time you will want to contact your benefit carrier or broker and collaborate with them to figure out if the options or costs of the benefits will be subject to change. Knowing what to expect in advance will help you get prepared and make the necessary changes.
Four to Six Weeks Before OE
At this point you will need to make updates in regards to benefit costs for the software you use. You may also need to implement new options or plans as the need arises. Understanding your software and its many nuances will make this process a lot easier.
Two To Four Weeks Before OE
This is when you will see a spike in activity. You should perform OE testing for the software, and during the test there are a number of things you will want to verify. You will need to make sure that dependents are being displayed correctly for options which are applicable, that eligibility and rates are accurate, that plans requiring the input of users (such as 401K) are showing properly, and that any plans which are associated with enrollment (such as High Deductible ones)restrict the enrollments correctly.
Any documentation which is associated with the plan must be accurate for existing enrollment and if not it should be updated. Any emails or notifications which are distributed for OE should also be sent out during this time. You will next need to determine the groups for OE. Benefits should be split up in circumstances where distinct groups (such as departments) need specific benefits. Smaller groups are easier to deal with particularly when you need to find a certain employee.
One Week Before OE
Most of the intensive work is done. You will now want to generate groups and choices for them. It is essential to verify that the choices you make are generated properly and that all employees who are eligible have been included in one of them at minimum.
During And After OE
At this point employees should be monitored by their OE status and reminders should be sent out to anyone who has not finished their selection. You will then need to review the selections and approve them. Depending on the software you use it may be necessary to perform audit reports once the process is complete and all the choices have been made and approved. You will also want to create records for the benefits history. Following these steps will make enrollment much easier.