Data Demystifying Open Enrollment
How data insights and one-on-one benefits counseling creates the best open enrollment experience for employers and employees.
Open enrollment meetings can evoke memories of an hour spent in a cold conference room with coworkers, getting confused to frustration and just selecting one of two plans that, for many, don't seem significantly different. Are we covered? Can we get glasses? Can I get that root canal?
Employers want employees to understand and appreciate the substantial value of their benefits, and counseling towards this end during open enrollment is becoming ever more crucial to SMB’s as they attempt to attract the best talent while maintaining financial viability.
During end of the year open enrollment season, the daunting task of delivering benefits information looms as menacingly as tax day. But both are critical. It's important that employees understand their benefits when they are enrolling to ensure they make the best choice for themselves, their families, their lifestyles, and their budgets. When companies do an excellent job of providing affordable, high-quality benefits – they should never be afraid of sharing the good news with employees.
The case for data-informed benefit counseling
Transparency, efficiency, customization
We use data to inform most decisions in our lives. We keep track of our commute times, travel distances, and gas mileage to inform our choice of cars to buy, but for some reason, keeping track of out-of-pocket spending and health care costs is not something we do to choose health insurance. This is partially because those costs are often hidden and buried under stacks of insurance information and we're not clear we even need certain plans at all. For employers, the best way to choose which health plans to offer employees is to have data that could show you how employees are using their healthcare in the first place. You wouldn't offer high priced gym memberships if you knew employees weren't using it. Why do something similar with health insurance?
A simplified, data-informed process provides benefit transparency that is sorely needed in the face of rising health care costs, stagnant wages, and cumbersome legislative regulations. Transparency and insight can demystify open enrollment by providing a means for a step-by-step process that gives employers and their benefit teams more time to answer questions and provide one-on-one benefits counseling that is essential to helping employees make the best decisions for themselves. Data informs choices and conversations about preference advises personal decisions. After all, we want to know what color the car comes in just as much, if not more than, we want to know the gas mileage.
So how does technology and data simplify the process in practice?
Having the right tool is key.
In essence, technology does risk calculation for us, presenting data to employers (and by extension, employees) in a way that helps them better understand the root of most health care decisions: how much something costs and what they get for that price. When armed with data-informed choices, open enrollment provides employers with a step-by-step process to guide employees and allow them to see out-of-pocket estimates, employer contributions, and monthly premium costs. This transparency and efficiency allows HR teams to have quality conversations and answer more in-depth and subjective health plan questions from employees turning open enrollment into a collaborative experience rather than one that elicits blank stares, groans and eye rolls.
Fortunately, data can demystify open enrollment now with new technology that exists to make this a reality. Give us a call at 1-844-2-LUMITY to learn more about how your open enrollment period can be simplified.