If you’re not thinking about your open enrollment process, you probably should. Working on open enrollment is a significant time drain and it’s getting tougher for HR professionals. Greater complexity, more legislation prompting plan design changes, and new administrative procedures are placing burden on already taxed HR professionals. A survey of SHRM members revealed that 97 percent of respondents report that open enrollment consumed at least 50 percent of their time and many note they begin the process eight months to a year ahead.
The fact that many begin early illustrates the significant undertaking of open enrollment. How can you make open enrollment easier?
Get current on changing legislation. New requirements for the Affordable Care Act ACA stipulate that large employers (100 FTE or more) need to track, store and report benefit offer data – not just enrollment data – and communicate benefits status to eligible employees. The right technology will make it easier to track benefits-related activities and fulfill compliance obligations.
Stay up to date on evolving retirement benefits. Many employers are considering adding a Roth account to their 401(k) savings plans. A Roth 401(k) is an optional contribution feature that gives employees opportunity to fund accounts with after-tax dollars. Amending the plan isn’t difficult, but it does increase record keeping and administrative responsibilities. For example, special requirements include different taxation of contributions and distributions as compared to the before-tax option, separate accounting from before-tax 401(k) contributions and other plan contributions, and additional participant disclosure and reporting.
Have a communication plan. Make sure employees understand their options so they can evaluate plans and understand any changes. Decision support tools, town hall meetings and easy electronic enrollment can keep employees informed and empowered to make the best healthcare and retirement decisions. Posters, enrollment materials, and ongoing communication support a smooth enrollment while giving employers opportunity to reinforce the value of benefits while helping employees understand their total compensation.
Avaap can help you accelerate and improve accuracy of the benefits open enrollment process and save your HR departments weeks of work by eliminating manual processes. Our knowledgeable service professionals can:
*Enable out-of-the-box functionality, assisting with set-up and configuration parameters
*Enhance usability through updates to pages and standard verbiage, adding helpful links and personalized branding that reinforce your corporate branding, culture, and identity
*Modify standard processes to insert additional review points prior to approval (i.e. Confirm Evidence of Insurability)
*Develop electronic interfaces to insurance providers, reducing paperwork and eliminating administrative issues
*Create better checks and balances through ProcessFlow automation and approvals; ensure employee’s elections are properly captured and documented – especially in consideration of new ACA requirements
November is typically open enrollment month. Talk to Avaap about how we can help you ensure your open enrollment goes smoothly.