The benefits enrollment period can be a daunting time for both employers and employees.
It takes a toll on HR and it can be a confusing process for workers. Think about all the benefit policies you have in place and how many different iterations of those policies there can be—various tiers, classes, life amounts, DI amounts, deductions, eligibility stipulations, etc. Now think about using a technology-based enrollment platform. You can save time and money, make the process more efficient and user-friendly for HR and your employees. Remember, your changing workforce wants an online experience. Let’s look at the pros, cons and some recommendations of adopting this type of platform.
Benefits of Technology-based Enrollment
Embracing technology can simplify many of your processes related to benefits technology. Learn more about the advantages of incorporating a platform to your plan design.
With technology based open enrollment, every step of the benefits management process is automated, eliminating the need for paper-based processes and improving efficiency and accuracy. Online enrollment lowers the overall cost of providing services to your employees by eliminating the costs of distributing and collecting paper enrollment packets, shortens the enrollment cycle and enables employees to self-enroll in benefit programs, review their benefit data and report life event changes. Employees can also choose plans based on eligibility criteria and can compare costs and coverage of previous elections against new offerings. Some additional advantages include the following:
- Elections can be automatically applied to employee records.
- Employees receive written confirmations detailing their elections.
- Employees can easily view and update their records and plans.
- HR can check the status of enrollment in real time and may be able to generate detailed reports regarding the cost of employee benefits.
Disadvantages of Technology-based Enrollment
Implementing new procedures will typically come with drawbacks, but with preparation, these hindrances can be avoided.
- Employees may be intimidated by the software and may also desire interpersonal assistance, rather than making their selections via a computer.
- Employees may not make informed benefit decisions if they are only advised via the computer and are not provided personalized recommendations.
Knowing what you can do to properly implement changes to the accepted way of doing things can save you headaches in the long term. Here are a few suggestions for addressing any obstacles you may encounter.
Introducing the new enrollment software and training employees before open enrollment begins to make sure all employees are comfortable with the software. It's helpful to make sure someone is available to answer additional questions and provide further help. You can also incorporate the following to address any obstacles to the process:
- Use various communication mediums for initial alerts concerning open enrollment to prepare employees for the process.
- Use existing resources to promote technology-based enrollment such as your company’s intranet, bulletin board postings or your newsletter.
- Encourage management to promote the use of technology-based enrollment to increase employee buy-in.
Another helpful method to combating any confusion is to establish online communities or blogs where employees can discuss successes and problems they are having while enrolling. That way, they can assist one another with the process and HR can address any problems that employees may be having.
Let us know if these tips worked for you and find out more about OneDigital's open enrollment technology to seamlessly integrate your HR benefit functions.