Open enrollment season is just around the corner. For many employers and human resources professionals, the preparation leading up to this critical time of year began months in advance. Clear communication, a robust road map and educational resources are just a few of the many ways to support a successful enrollment process. That’s why we’ve pulled together tips from the experts on how to ensure your employees properly choose their healthcare options this open enrollment season.
It is no secret that employees’ health and wellbeing is essential to a company’s success – and vision care is no exception. Eye health is essential to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a global public priority in health agendas across countries of all economic standings.1 In turn, access to easy and affordable eye care is one of the best benefits an employer can offer. In 2020, 67% of U.S. employers offered voluntary vision benefits. And 80% of employees reported that they would enroll in vision benefits if offered by an employer.2 We can expect to see an increase in enrollment because of the pandemic too. It’s imperative to provide comprehensive open enrollment support and education so employees can make the best decision on the benefits plan for themselves and their family.
Pro-tip #1: provide educational materials upfront to guide employees through the enrollment process
Forbes reports that 75% of employees are now more interested in benefits than they were before the pandemic.3 That’s why providing educational materials upfront to guide your employees through the open enrollment process is the top tip from human resources professionals. Choosing benefits does not have to be complicated – but for many employees, it can be an overwhelming feat. In fact, 52% of employees report that picking and using benefits is stressful, and 20% (1 in 5) of benefit holders say they would benefit from more information and assistance with open enrollment.4 And 25% of employees (1 in 4) reporting spending over 7 hours dedicated to researching medical insurance.4 One way to get ahead of this obstacle is to anticipate any uncertainties employees may have regarding their benefit plans, and provide self-serve educational materials to address areas of confusion in advance.
Pro-tip #2: communicate important messaging to eligible employees across various platforms
Email is used as a communication channel every day – and consequently, messages can get lost in the clutter of a filled inbox quite easily. As employers plan out communication to benefit holders about important enrollment dates and deadlines, a helpful pro-tip is to utilize different messaging platforms. This includes text messages, virtual toolkits, webinars, postcards and other digital and print materials.
Don’t forget to add a personal touch, too. Offering individual consultations with your company’s human resources department provides opportunity for employees to have questions about benefits answered. Is your HR department pressed for time? No problem. Artificial intelligence can be utilized as an effective means for answering questions about health and vision benefits. For example, EyeMed provides members with readily available support via LevEye, the personal concierge assistant available to answer open enrollment questions and create a best-fit plan recommendation.
Pro-tip #3: continuously adapt to the virtual environment that has become the “new normal”
Virtual accessibility and tech tools are vital components of adapting to the new hybrid environment of in-office and remote workers. Encourage your employees to utilize resources and digital toolkits available, in addition to video tutorials, interactive tools and downloadable documents from any location. You can also bring the environment of an in-person consultation directly to your employees’ desktop by hosting a virtual benefit fair.
Virtual Benefit Fairs
This is a safe and effective way to boost benefit selections and employee engagement. The EyeMed digital enrollment experience has brought in over 14M employee logins to date5 – spanning across 7,300 open enrollment events held virtually in the last year.6 We even have an optical expert available to answer employees’ questions virtually.
Pro-tip #4: address the financial impact of offering employee benefits and rising healthcare costs
With more employees working from home, virtual meetings have replaced face-to-face interactions. Lunch breaks are now spent in front of a laptop. Work-life balance has evolved into an “always-on” mentality without breaks or conversations with colleagues. And with social distance constraints keeping everyone at home, recreational screen time has increased as well. Gaming, social media and binge-watching videos keeps us glued to the screen even after work. People can conceivably be in front of a screen nearly the entire day.
Employees want reliable and affordable health benefits – in fact, 61% of Americans report that reducing health care costs is a top priority.7 The value of vision care has been proven to correlate with employee productivity, and in turn, company financials. The Lancet Global Health Commission reports that annual global productivity loss from vision impairment is approximately $410.7 billion.1 This open enrollment season, dedicate time to address the “why” behind rising healthcare costs, and demonstrate how benefit holders can save money on medical expenses. Outline resources available for saving – such as a cost calculator, provider locator and member discounts.
There you have it: 4 pro-tips from the experts to ensure smooth sailing for both employers and employees this open enrollment season. Learn more about how we create an easy and efficient benefit selection experience for our members. Reach out to your EyeMed representative or visit eyemed.com.
1 - "The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020," The Lancet Global Health Commission, Feb. 2021.
2 - "How Vision Coverage Can Reduce Overall Health Care Costs," Be Inventive, May 2021.
3 - “Half Of Employees Believe Open Enrollment Is More Important In 2020 Than It Was In 2019,” Forbes, Nov., 2020.
4 - "Money on their Minds: The State of Employee Benefits in a Post-Pandemic Workforce, JellyVision, accessed Sept. 2021.
5 - EyeMed internal analysis of virtual OE utilization, 2020
6 - EyeMed book of business analysis, 2019.
7 - "How to address employee demand & expectations for virtual vision care & benefits," Benefits Pro, July 2021.