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Tips to prepare your employees for an easy Open Enrollment

This is it—the time of year when you can change the health insurance benefits that you offer your employees. By preparing now, you can choose plans that meet your organization’s needs and enjoy a smooth Open Enrollment.

Do your homework

Each year, it’s important to evaluate your current health insurance offerings and whether you need to make changes before your Open Enrollment period begins. Contact your producers and network partners. They can help you get the information you need to choose benefits that meet your organization’s needs, including recent health care reform legislation changes and carrier deadlines for adding, dropping, or changing coverage. This allows you to establish deadlines for employees to complete their enrollment.

Communicate early

Communicating with employees before and during Open Enrollment gives them time to review their benefit options and make the best choice for them and their families. Providing a checklist of items to address prior to Open Enrollment can make a big difference. This can include items that they need to think through, such as beneficiaries, flexible spending account needs, health savings account considerations, and qualifying life events.

Download our Open Enrollment checklist for even more tips:

Preparing a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document can also help your Open Enrollment strategy. This can help your employees better understand their benefits and minimize the calls and emails you receive.

Extend your reach

Using different forms of communication will help your employees be well-informed about Open Enrollment. If possible, start with a kickoff meeting for on-site employees and set up a webinar so remote employees can participate. Supplemental sessions, breakout sessions, and group presentations are other in-person options that can help you add another level of support during this time that can be stressful for employees.

Depending on your company’s size and resources, there are many different follow-up communication methods to consider:

  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Text messages
  • Posters
  • A dedicated intranet webpage
  • Videos on screens in common spaces
  • Notices on paychecks (both hard checks and online)

While these are all valuable ways to communicate, keep in mind that digital communication will simplify your benefits administration process and free up your team to handle more critical issues.

Keep messages clear

No matter what methods you choose, you should communicate clearly. Keep your messages brief and give employees a call to action that clearly outlines next steps. Customized messages may be easier to understand and may be more relatable.

Every message doesn’t have relate to Open Enrollment dates and information. You can keep employees engaged by helping them maximize their benefits through other related topics:

  • Health insurance glossary definitions
  • Provider networks
  • Prescription benefits
  • Dental and vision coverage highlights
  • Travel coverage
  • Telemedicine and nurse lines
  • Wellness visits

Check and double-check

After the Open Enrollment deadline passes, most of the heavy lifting is done. However, if you are still using traditional paper benefits enrollment, you should always check enrollment forms for any missing or incorrect information. Ensure addresses are correct and Social Security numbers are included for dependents.

If you are using traditional paper benefits enrollment, you may want to consider making your whole process digital—it can streamline your entire enrollment process, minimize administrative costs, and reduce mistakes.

Employer group coverage with UPMC Health Plan

No matter the size of your business, UPMC Health Plan has many plans and product options. Our comprehensive offerings include medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy plans, health and productivity services, administrative solutions, and a customized benefit platform. We partner with you to manage costs and the health of your workforce. Plus, we offer award-winning customer service.*

For more information about our employer group coverage, contact your producer, visit, or call 1-833-825-2696.

*UPMC Health Plan earned three 2019 Gold Stevie Awards for its outstanding sales and customer service: Best Back-Office Customer Service Team, Best Front-Line Customer Service Team, and Best Medicare Telesales Team. In 2018, UPMC Health Plan earned three Gold Stevie Awards for its sales and customer service, and in 2017 earned a Gold Contact Center of the Year Award.