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The second step of enrollment readiness: Preparing for open enrollment

So your clients are now set with the benefits plan you created together. They’re excited—and they’re probably asking what they need to do now. And you have the answer: It’s time to dig in and prepare for the enrollment period.

Here are four steps that will help edge them toward complete enrollment readiness.

Four ways to help your clients prepare for open enrollment

1. Share carrier options and make decisions.
Even if your clients have been using the same carriers for years, it never hurts to explore the market now that they know what types of products they plan to offer. When you share the most current information on products, capabilities and pricing, your clients will be more confident they’re making informed decisions about the carriers that are going to help them bring their benefits strategy to life.

2. Consider ways to streamline.
You likely had a tech needs discussion with clients during the earliest enrollment planning stage, and now is the time for them to move forward with a platform partner if they’re going that route. Benefits administration platforms allow for a quicker process for both those enrolling and those processing said enrollments, saving your client and their employees their greatest asset—time. And there are numerous options with ranging functionality and price points to ensure your clients get the best fit.

3. Create a communication and education plan.
Everyone wins when employees understand what’s available to them via their benefits program. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between benefits literacy and benefits satisfaction—77% of employees who say they understand the costs of their benefits are satisfied with their benefits plan, while just 28% of those who do not understand the costs of their benefits say they’re satisfied.1

You can help by creating a multi-touch benefits communication and education plan that engages employees before and during enrollment. There are endless options—traditional print collateral like product brochures and flyers, one-on-one counseling sessions, the latest digital communication methods—that can boost awareness and participation. And as you’re helping create a unique plan for each client, you’re building a comprehensive library from which to choose and scale to accommodate your entire book of business.

It’s also worth your clients considering a more structured approach to benefits training this year—based both on the changes and shifts that have occurred during the previous 18 months and also because of the range of generational differences in the workforce. Group meetings, webinars and podcasts are all great ways to share information with employees using methods that match the ways they like to receive information.

4. Start early.
It’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared. And the surest way for your clients to avoid the latter is to start early. Doing so will allow them to handle lapses in internal and external communication, unexpected tech issues and other unforeseen challenges at a more leisurely pace. And as they enter a period when more than half of employers expect COVID-19 to increase voluntary enrollment participation,2 they’ll be glad you’re there to help them handle those intangibles. With time—and a trusted partner—on their side, sudden roadblocks won’t seem as daunting to overcome.