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4 Reasons Virtual Open Enrollment is Here to Stay

/ June 4, 2021 June 4, 2021

In 2020, the world was met with unexpected challenges and much of our “normal” life had to change. In these times of remote working, increased flexibility, and competing priorities, organizations had to reinvent the overall employee experience. Part of redefining that employee experience included the way employers reach and engage their workforce with benefits communication. As this year’s open enrollment season approaches, and as much of the workforce is likely to still be remote or in a hybrid model this fall, HR teams must continue to think about how they will communicate their benefits in a way that employees understand the value of their benefits package. Below are our four reasons for keeping open enrollment virtual: 

  1. Saves time and money – Instead of employees being interrupted during their workdays, they can access the information at any time. HR staff also do not need to spend time and energy coordinating schedules to ensure all employees in all locations can attend a meeting. This gives employees of all levels greater flexibility in reviewing their decisions and allows them to easily review the information with their dependents, improving the employee experience.  
  2. Better support and decision-making process – Instead of sitting through draining meetings, employees can share the material with their spouse or partner at home, when they can both focus on the material and identify what works for their family. Additionally, if employees/spouses have questions about their own personal situation or a medical condition, they do not need to ask them in front of a room full of their co-workers. Instead, they can schedule a 1 on 1 meeting with their benefits provider at a time that works best for them. 
  3. Helps employers remain compliant – Employers have a responsibility to protect the confidential health information of their employees. If employees feel that their only opportunity to ask a private medical question is in front of their co-workers during an OE meeting, this is a potential HIPAA violation. By offering a virtual OE experience supported by Virtual Office Hours, employers and human resources teams are providing their employees with an opportunity to ask questions confidentially and in a HIPAA-compliant manner. 
  4. Content is engaging and interactive Many employers are moving away from a “one size fits all” communication approach. Instead, messages, images, and stories can be tailored and targeted to employees in a variety of ways — whether that’s providing them access to an interactive virtual open enrollment presentation which allows them to jump to specific topics that they are interested in, using short videos to provide simple overviews of complex benefits topics, or providing employees with a more traditional benefits guide that can be accessed in less traditional ways, such as through a mobile phone or tablet, 24/7/365.

In challenging times, healthcare and benefits may be at the forefront of many employees’ minds, and open enrollment gives employers the opportunity to connect with employees on a human level. A well-planned virtual open enrollment will help them make the best choice for their families and show that you care about their health even when they’re off the clock, something that helps your organization stand out among competitors.

Is your organization looking for ways to ease the open enrollment process? Fill out the form below to connect with our experts:

 

Additional sources: Mercer, HaysCompanies