We are quickly approaching “open enrollment”. This is the moment of the year when employees have the option of enrolling in health insurance. Some have not enrolled, and some may be thinking of ending their enrollment or changing to a different plan. As an employer, it is important to relay all the necessary information so that your staff can make the right decision for themselves. As an employee, it’s important to know which insurance program is right for you and whether or not you should even enroll.
I will be taking you through some advice for both employers and employees on how to make the most of open enrollment.
- Consider an upgraded wellness program
If your insurance provider has options for wellness benefits like massage and talk therapy, consider either upgrading your current program or adding some new offerings. Investing in the health of your employees is one way to ensure that your insurance costs will stay low. If your employees are taking care of themselves, there is less of a chance of expensive surgery or emergency room visit.
- Prepare a presentation
Employees are unlikely to read a whole pamphlet about your insurance program. Instead, create a video that relays the most important information to them in 5-10 minutes.
- Require all employees to submit a new enrollment
There may be employees who do not wish to change their health insurance plan and are ok with it rolling over into the next year. However, there will be others who will unknowingly let it roll over when they should really be changing their plan. This is why you must require all employees to submit a response to open enrollment, even if they wish to keep their plan the same. This will help ensure that your employees are getting the right plan and are downgrading when appropriate.
- Ask yourself important questions
During open enrollment time, it is a very good idea to take a moment and reassess whether or not you should continue with the same insurance plan. Ask yourself, “do I have an illness right now that I need regular doctor visits for?”, “Do I have a family or plan on starting one in the next year?”, “If there’s an unexpected emergency, will I be able to pay a large sum of money out of pocket?”.
- Educate yourself on the difference between each type of plan
Ask your employer all the plans they have available and then do your research. A High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is very different from a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Read up on each plan type and then make your decision from there.
- Know your enrollment dates
Every state will have a different enrollment date. Check with your benefits department or human resource manager to confirm your enrollment date. This is so you give yourself enough time to research and choose your insurance plan.
For employers, open enrollment is an opportunity to re-educate your employees on their health insurance program and how to use it so it benefits both them and the company. For employees, it’s a very important time to reassess your insurance plan and make sure you aren’t paying too much for a plan you don’t use.