Open enrollment is right around the corner, are you prepared to help your clients kick off a smooth and efficient enrollment period?We’ve solicited feedback from brokers across the nation to concoct this signature seven-step recipe for success!
Start The Conversation Early
In order to truly understand your clients’ individual needs and goals, start the open enrollment conversation early. Schedule a meeting a few months prior to open enrollment to discuss current plan offerings, what’s working well and opportunities for improvement next year. The earlier you can gain valuable feedback, the earlier you can start crafting a plan of attack for this year’s enrollment.
Outline Current Benefits Plan And Proposed Changes
Once you’ve had time to recoup after your initial conversation, plan a follow-up meeting to discuss specific plans for this year. Come prepared with a detailed outline of the current year’s plan mix and related costs for reference, in addition to a comprehensive list of recommendations for the upcoming year. Your recommendations should align with the goals and changes discussed in your initial meeting. Is your client concerned with their bottom line and need a plan to reduce costs? Does your client want to pilot a new program or plan that you are offering? Do your homework and have a diverse array of potential solutions prepared to address your clients’ concerns.
Keep an open mind and employ creative tactics when helping clients achieve their business goals. Can the issue or concern at hand be solved with a simple plan reconfiguration, or will the change be better initiated with a complete system or process overhaul? Remember that improvements are not limited to health care offerings. Ancillary programs, wellness initiatives and even technology solutions can be used to save clients valuable time and money.
Know Industry Updates And Comparable Benchmarks
Additionally, be prepared to provide insight on any important annual legislation or industry changes related to providing benefits that your client should be aware of and be able to provide benchmark numbers for organizations of a similar size or in a similar industry. Staying on top of current trends and being able to compare plans across the board will further establish your agency a trusted source of expertise. Check out the PlanSource Benefits Benchmark Report as a starting point on trends related to benefits offered, the cost of providing health care, HDHP enrollment, open enrollment behaviors and more.
Discuss Communication And Education Strategies
Another talking point of your pre-OE strategy session will be how to successfully execute open enrollment to achieve this year’s goals. Education and communication methods need to clearly align with annual priorities. For example, if a company is rolling out a new high deductible plan option, you will want to collaborate with the client to be sure employees are fully informed about how the plan works, how much money they could potentially save and how they can enroll.
Education and communication opportunities are limited only to your imagination. Of course, the preferred methods will vary greatly depending on your clients’ individual workforce, goals and budget. However, come prepared with strategic communication initiatives and education opportunities to best meet the annual goals of your client.
Here are a few options to consider:
Decision Support Tools
Text Message Alerts
(Visit our free open enrollment kit for inspiration.)
Offer Tools And Resources
In addition to advising and assisting employer partners with their OE communication and education initiatives, it can be helpful to provide additional tools and resources for reference. For example, if you are working with a new client, consider providing an open enrollment playbook to guide them through the process. For seasoned clients, introduce them to new tools or calculators to help them learn more about new products or services. For example, you can use a dependent verification calculator to showcase savings that can be achieved through an audit.
Follow these seven steps and you’ll be set for a successful open enrollment season!
Want more OE goodness? Check out our open enrollment playbook for a rundown on how to help employers plan, execute and measure their efforts.
Looking For A New Partner?
Well, you’re in luck! PlanSource partners exclusively with insurance brokers to help you provide top-rated benefits services. Contact us below to learn more about partnership opportunities.
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