Navigating Open Enrollment: Basics, Reviews, Goals

There are a few vital periods of the year when it comes to employee health benefits offered by employers, and the open enrollment period we’re approaching currently is one of the top examples. As businesses of all sizes prepare for open enrollment season, there are a few important considerations to be looking at so you can move through this time efficiently and while providing quality benefits to your employees.

At Nielsen Benefits Group, we’re happy to help with employee benefits and insurance for businesses around Sandy, whether you’re a small or medium business, a large corporation or anything in between. Here are some basics on how to approach open enrollment with a successful mindset.

navigating open enrollment basics

Basics on Open Enrollment and Dates

For newer business owners or HR employees who are just learning about open enrollment, this period is a time where employees are allowed to make changes to their insurance and other benefits without any special life events triggering these options. This yearly event is typically the only time that employees can enroll in new benefits or change existing ones without waiting for a qualifying event such as marriage or birth of a child.

November 1 is the first day of open enrollment, and we recommend beginning preparations as early as September. This allows time for evaluating employee needs, researching benefit options and communicating changes to employees. The end date for open enrollment is usually December 15th which marks the last day of buying coverage that starts on January 1st.

Our next several sections, and on into part two of our series, will look at some simple ways to prepare for open enrollment as a business.

Review Recent Programs

One of the most important steps you can take as an employer is to review how previous open enrollment periods have gone. Were there any major issues or complaints from employees? Did you receive feedback on specific benefits that were not meeting their needs? Use this information to guide your decisions for the upcoming open enrollment period.

Also be sure to get input from employees on what benefits they value most and would like to see offered. This can help you tailor your offerings to better meet their needs and increase employee satisfaction.

Aligning Clear Benefits Goals

Before you get into specific benefit options, it’s important to establish clear goals for what you want your benefits package to achieve. This could include attracting and retaining top talent, promoting a healthy work-life balance, or reducing healthcare costs. Aligning these goals with your overall business objectives will help guide you in choosing the right benefits for your employees.

In part two of our series, we’ll dig into some more specifics on how to navigate open enrollment periods. For more here, or to learn about any of our employee benefits or insurance services, speak to our team at Nielsen Benefits Group today.