Best Practices when using Technology During Open Enrollment

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Technology resources can assist in the open enrollment process by providing a single location where employees can access consistent information about their current plans as well as any new plans that are being offered in the upcoming plan year. An online communications portal, integrated with an electronic enrollment platform, can streamline employee education and elections in one system. It also provides employees with a resource they can consult throughout the year when they have questions about what their plans cover or need to contact someone in their broker account management team for assistance with claims, finding providers and navigating the complex healthcare system.

Benefit Concepts, Inc. provides an online employee communication and electronic enrollment system (Gen4 Systems) to any client who believes it would be a useful resource for their HR team and employees. For more information about how Gen4 can streamline your communication and enrollment process, please contact a member of your account management team.

For groups who have been using Gen4 to manage new hires and terminations throughout the year, or if you are implementing the technology during open enrollment, there are some things you can expect from your account management team before open enrollment begins on your online platform. This is an anticipated timeline of activities that will take place in order to get your system ready for employees to make their open enrollment elections online:

Approximately 60 days before the new plan year effective date.

Hold a 30-minute open enrollment implementation call to discuss HR responsibilities in the system and clarify which responsibilities belong to your BCI account management team and eligibility specialist. The following open enrollment scenarios will be discussed:

  • How to re-open the portal for an employee who confirmed their elections but needs to make a change

  • How to make elections on behalf of an employee who doesn’t feel comfortable using the system themselves

  • How to communicate with employees through the system to send reminders about open enrollment

Approximately 45 days before the new plan year effective date.

Once you have made your decisions regarding which plans will be offered and how much the employer will be contributing, your chosen plans will be loaded into the Agency Management System and be made available to HR reps and employees.

 HR representatives will receive their usernames and passwords so they can be the first employees to make their open enrollment elections. This allows them to confirm the information being presented to employees is accurate and correct.

HR reps will provide their account management team with feedback and any additions, changes or corrections will be made.

Approximately 30 days before the new plan year effective date.

Once we receive confirmation that the HR reps are satisfied with the information presented in the system, we will execute the employees’ usernames and passwords. This assigns each employee’s work email address as their username and creates a random password for the employees to use.

Employees will receive an email with logon instructions so they can access the system and make their open enrollment elections.

Approximately 15 days before the new plan year effective date.

Open Enrollment portal closes to employees and your account management team works to communicate any changes, additions or terminations to the carriers, so employees’ elections are in place on the first day of the new plan year.

You should experience some version of this process regardless of which ben admin platform you choose to use. The most important part of this, or any open enrollment, is clear communication so each stakeholder knows their responsibilities. This is essential for meeting expectations and having a successful open enrollment experience.

Allison Brannan