Request Meeting
Request Meeting

3 Ways Benefit Brokers Can Ensure a Smooth Open Enrollment Season

Sep 27, 2023 7:30:00 AM

Lately, your role as a benefit broker has shifted from being a resource to your clients to being more like a partner. Particularly, human resource departments have increasingly relied on brokers for assistance with open enrollment. According to a 2022 report, a staggering 93% reported seeing moderate to high demand for help with benefits communications materials.

As open enrollment approaches, you can help your clients save money, attract and retain top talent, and help employees make the best decisions with their benefits. Let’s take a look at 3 ways you can be your clients best friend during open enrollment season.

1. Learn From the Past

It's important to remain competitive and proactive with what benefit options you present to your clients. What may have been beneficial for your client in the past may no longer meet their needs. Recent studies have shown that many employees routinely select bad plans, even some that have negative financial consequences. To help address this issue, step in and review last year’s plan and assess what worked well and what didn’t. 

This evaluation includes asking questions such as:

  • Did the client reach their enrollment goals?
  • Did they receive any employee feedback, and what did it show?
  • What questions did they receive from employees?
  • Was there any confusion?

After you address these questions with the client, help create a new communications strategy that tackles the issues faced and answers any questions or concerns.

2. Educate the Employees

HR departments’ involvement in benefits communication is on the decline, and it’s starting to show. Recent research shows that one-on-one conversations with HR decreased to 26 percent from 28 percent in 2022. As a result, 41% of employees find their company's open enrollment process to be confusing.

HR departments have a lot to juggle already and are often understaffed, which may explain the drop in communication. This is where you can come in handy. 

Employees who have a good grasp of how the system works can make smarter decisions about their benefits. By doing so, they can potentially save a significant amount of money on treatments and services, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being. Recognizing that benefit education can have a positive impact on both physical and financial health, collaborate with your client to offer educational resources or host webinars.

3. Ensure Compliance

No one wants a slap on the wrist for not following the rules, and you can make sure that doesn’t happen. The use of benefit brokers for compliance during open enrollment has seen a significant increase, with a rise of 43% from 2020. In particular, many HR departments are relying on brokers to assist with compliance and reporting for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Affordable Care Act.

A bulk of these materials and reports are for employees to use, including summary plan descriptions and ACA info. By understanding what the client needs to comply with, you can help create compliant materials, allowing your clients to focus on other matters to ensure a smooth open enrollment season.

Filling in The Gaps

As a benefit broker, you’re extremely beneficial to clients during open enrollment. There are numerous steps involved in creating a smooth open enrollment season, and you can play a crucial role in filling in the gaps. By offering your services, you can ensure a seamless, efficient, and effective process that will alleviate employers' stress and enable employees to make well-informed healthcare decisions.

About Proliant

Proliant puts the human in human resources. We provide a fully integrated, cloud-based HCM solution that simplifies payroll and HR processes. The company serves small to large clients in multiple industries in all 50 states and is committed to providing the highest quality customer service in the industry.

Subscribe to Blog

You May Also Like

These Stories on Benefits Administration

Subscribe by Email