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It's Time to Take Open Enrollment Online

Do the words "Open Enrollment" send chills down your spine?

If yes, you're not alone! Many HR professionals dread the annual open enrollment period—the time of year where all other work falls to the wayside as countless hours are spent keying in one enrollment form after the other. But wait, what's wrong with this picture?

Where's the technology? More employers are utilizing a benefits administration tool to increase efficiency and enhance employee experience. In fact, 66% of employers are now more digital than paper-based when it comes to managing employees' benefits.

Cue the objections: "my employees' don't have access to a smartphone," "it's too expensive" or my personal favorite: "my employees' aren't comfortable with technology." In speaking with our customers, we hear this type of feedback all the time, but the truth is that your employees' DO want technology.

"Employees, on average, indicate they're willing to spend up to two days per month on training to upgrade their digital skills if offered by their employer."PwC Survey

Here are 4 Reasons Your Organization Needs to Go Digital

  1. Meet Employees Where They Want to Be Met

    Millennials are currently the largest generation in the workforce; 50% to be exact. This generation grew up with technology, apps and innovative platforms. They are accustomed to information and services being readily available at their fingertips–including their employee benefits. It's not just millennials who prefer an online experience of benefits—we polled our customers' Connecticut-based employees over the past year and found that their #1 ask was for more technology. Doesn't surprise you, does it?

    By offering an online open enrollment, you allow employees to elect benefits on their own time in a way they are most comfortable, similar to online shopping. We live in a society that is used to the Amazon-experience, where you can have anything at the click of a button. Forget about losing forms or missing information. The online open enrollment process guides employees through each step and indicates what information is required. Benefits administration systems will also calculate the per pay period cost of the benefits elected and display this to the employee so that they know exactly what will be deducted from their paycheck in the upcoming plan year.

  2. HR Efficiency

    Although the function of HR in workplaces is more strategic than ever before, HR professionals still report spending approximately 80% of their time on administrative tasks like onboarding, billing and payroll. With the roles and responsibilities of HR professionals expanding every day, efficiency is becoming increasingly important. By cutting paper out and moving to a digital platform, it can dramatically reduce the time that HR spends on the open enrollment process. This automated process not only saves time, but it ensures the accuracy of the information that is being provided to the insurance carriers. Don't worry, benefits administration platforms all have great, easy, reporting tools included for record-keeping purposes, auditing and pulling meaningful data insights to share with your leadership team.

  3. Communications/Education "One-Stop-Shop"

    Capturing employee attention is hard—you and I both know that. There is so much noise that is impacting how well your employees understand their benefits. From the multiple solutions, various apps and benefits offerings fighting to get your staff's attention, it can be overwhelming. On average, employees receive over 120 emails a day. Not only are you trying to get your information across, but you are competing with many other companies trying to contact them.

    Implementing a benefits administration platform empowers your employees with the information they need to make an educated decision on their benefits, without getting lost in their inbox. And the information is all in one place! No more scrounging your emails or google to find contact information and benefits deadlines. Enrollment systems come with employee communication tools which include options to link videos, post plan documents, FAQs and even newsletters. By posting this information online, you're creating a simple experience for your employees (and spouses) to access all the information, which allows each employee to make an informed decision based on his or her individual needs.

    Now, HR can spend less time on being administrative and more strategic.

  4. It Can Save You MONEY!

    Say what? An online platform allows employees to see exactly what plans are being offered and select the plan that makes the most sense. Gone are the days of "I'll just keep doing the same plan I did last year" because employees are now educated on why one plan is better than the other—all from the touch of a button.

We've seen this pay off with one of our larger employers who implemented JellyVision, an interactive online tool that provides employee education and decision support tools. During the open enrollment period, they saw over 800 visits to the JellyVision site and migration of 140 employees to the lowest-cost plan, saving the company over $180,000. SHRM reported the same type of results with a case study on American Eagle Outfitters (AEO). AEO decided to implement an interactive enrollment platform after realizing a significant part of their workforce was enrolling in plans that did not make sense for their needs and costing these employees more than necessary. By educating their employees through this online platform, they saw a huge improvement in cost savings.

"It was a huge shift for us, showing employees their claims through the platform brought the message home that they were paying too much in premiums for the type of plan they truly needed to be in." -Tammy Fennessy, Senior Benefits Manager at AEO.

Let's face it: technology is here to stay. If your team isn't already thinking about going digital, then you are a step behind your competitors. It's a war for talent and those that effectively close the benefits perception gap will gain a competitive advantage.

Need more convincing? Check out our blog: 6 Ways Tech Improves the Open Enrollment Process.