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Open enrollment is coming—this checklist helps get you ready

Open enrollment can sneak up on you. Get ahead of the game now to avoid scrambling later—your future self thanks you.

Communication

  • Contact your agent or broker to discuss your approaching enrollment
  • Discuss with your agent or broker any remote or virtual enrollment needs for employees who are offsite
  • Discuss with your agent or broker any remote or virtual enrollment needs for employees who are offsite
  • Plan your employee communications strategy, including a timeline
  • Review benefits terminology so that you can explain it to your team
  • Prepare materials that communicate the value of employee benefits in easy-to-understand language
  • Ask your agent or broker what materials they have to assist with open enrollment communications
  • Create a timeline for internal discussions and communications with stakeholders, such as payroll, finance and key decision-makers

Compliance

  • Review the latest federal and state benefits compliance guidelines
  • If the size of your staff has changed: Check whether that changes your status under the Affordable Care Act
  • Create a plan for preparing or accessing the Summary of Benefits and Coverage
  • Identify all enrollment-related materials that employees will need to submit
  • Identify all enrollment-related materials that you will need to submit

Changes

  • Discuss with your agent or broker any changes in how enrollment should be conducted—face-to-face, virtually, by phone, etc.
  • Contact carriers about any changes in coverage
  • If using an enrollment platform: Evaluate or test it, even if you did so last year
  • Solicit feedback from employees about the successes and pain points of your current benefits package
  • Explain changes in coverage to your staff
  • Consider how coverage changes made during the Covid-19 pandemic may or may not apply to your business going forward