Employers: Avoid These Common Open Enrollment Mistakes

September 13, 2018 Jonathan Nolan

Employers: Avoid These Common Open Enrollment Mistakes

During Open Enrollment season, you will be tasked with meeting your employees’ diverse needs, accommodating your own budget, and complying with healthcare regulations… all during a very short time frame. It would be a miracle if you never made mistakes!

Luckily, we can also learn from past mistakes, so we’re sharing a few common ones with you today. Watch out for these as we head toward Open Enrollment season.

Lapses in Communication. Regardless of whether you offer health insurance to employees, the Affordable Care Act requires all employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act to communicate regarding healthcare coverage (or lack of it). So, regardless of your health insurance offerings, you must still comply with this requirement.

Solid communication can also benefit you: According to an Aflac survey, 80 percent of employees say a well-communicated benefits package would deter them from leaving their jobs.

Offering too few choices. Analyzing a benefits package often comes down to a struggle between spending enough to attract and retain the best workers, or spending too much and hurting your own bottom line. A third option is to utilize voluntary benefits. Employees do pick up more of the cost, but they appreciate the flexibility and freedom of putting together their own benefits plan.

Overlooking trends. With the job market rebounding, employers have become more competitive. Benefits that were once considered nice-to-have “extras” are now considered, by many, to be mandatory. To attract and retain the most skilled workers, many employers are opting for a mix of standard benefits with attractive add-on options.

Neglecting the paperwork. Making your employees happy is only the first half of your job. Due to government regulations, careful record keeping is essential. Those who self fund employee healthcare are still required to report critical information to the IRS. And, of course, even if you aren’t required to provide health insurance to part-time employees, you still need accurate records of hours worked, to prove they are indeed part-timers.

Restricting enrollment options. Some employees might need in-person assistance, while others are comfortable logging onto a benefits software system. Still others are comfortable with their decisions, but prefer paper applications. Offering a variety of enrollment options can prevent mistakes from hasty decisions or confusing processes.

These are just some of the more common Open Enrollment mistakes that we see each year. Since one benefit of experience is preventing unnecessary blunders, please stay in touch with us as Open Enrollment approaches. We can help guide you through the process, so that both you and your employees find a satisfactory resolution to this enrollment season.


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