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How Technology is Rewriting the Script Around Open Enrollment

It’s no secret that employee benefits can be a confusing process for employers.

Whether interpreting compliance regulations, keeping up with Congress on what is going on in healthcare reform or making sure your employees understand how to make the most of their plan, it can feel like you are chasing your tail trying to keep up.

As employee benefits brokers, OneDigital’s goal is to be a beacon of light in the maze of healthcare. We do this by working with employers to weigh coverage options and assist in rolling them out to employees in a compliant fashion during open enrollment. As often happens at the conclusion of open enrollment, both the broker and employer lose touch with employees. The employees move on with their busy lives until they need to utilize the benefits or request help. This particular approach to the open enrollment process consists of educating employees on their healthcare options and engaging the average employee for about 60-90 minutes before they feel confident enough to make an enrollment decision.

I refer to this method as “checking the box.”

The traditional “check the box” scenario can sometimes result in employees losing sight of the value of their benefits offerings.

The perceived value of benefits begins to diminish immediately after the benefits election is made and only increases again at the time of utilization. Realizing this disconnect between employees and their benefits, brokers and employers might work together to hold events like health fairs and flu shot clinics to engage employees throughout the year. The reality of these events is that due to hectic work schedules and the rise of the mobile workforce, these events often only reach a small segment of the employee population.

Enter technology.There is no doubt that technology is continuously evolving, and the way we engage the world is rapidly changing.

Through recent advances in mobile technology, employees can now elect benefits, check HSA balances, view plan information, including their insurance cards, all without accessing a desktop or a hard copy form. Employees can complete all of this within one single app.

Technology allows brokers, in conjunction with our clients, to rewrite the open enrollment experience and better engage the employee throughout the year. We can give them the ability to utilize benefits at their fingertips making the benefits experience easier and more effective.

We’re passionate about the intersection of benefits technology and HR and will be attending HR West on March 5, 2018, in Oakland, CA. Make sure you stop by to hear best practices around finding the right platform for your organization’s needs.