What Is Open Enrollment: The Best Open Enrollment Strategies

Open enrollment period graphic
October 04, 2023

Open enrollment season is here!



Between the holidays and year-end work projects, it’s easy to forget about things like open enrollment season. However, taking the time to understand open enrollment and making sure you have the correct plan in place is crucial. Here’s what you need to know:


What Open Enrollment Is and Why Is It Important?


Open enrollment is a period during which employees can enroll in or change their health insurance plans, dental, vision, and other voluntary benefits. It typically lasts for several weeks, and it’s an opportunity for employees to select benefits that best meet their needs.


One of the biggest reasons open enrollment is important is that it can significantly impact an employee’s finances. For example, an employee who has a child may want to add their child to their health care insurance policy or change to a plan that has a lower deductible.


Likewise, an employee who is considering retirement may want to choose a retirement savings plan that offers a better return on investment.


In addition to being financially important, open enrollment can also impact an employee’s health and wellbeing. Open enrollment is also an opportunity for employees to take advantage of wellness programs or to add a dependent to their life insurance policy. It is crucial employees understand their offerings, deadlines to enroll, & if a switch in policies are needed.


Why Is It a Struggle to Get Employees to Enroll?


Despite the importance of open enrollment, many employees find it difficult to enroll in their benefit plans.

This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as a lack of education about their options, unclear direction of where to go to enroll/change benefits, or difficulty understanding the enrollment process or qualifying life events.


Other employees may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of benefit offerings and options available.


Another common issue is that employees may feel like they don’t have enough time to review their options thoroughly. In fact, according to a recent survey by HR Dive, 45% of employees spend 30 minutes or less reviewing their benefits during open enrollment season.


This lack of participation can have detrimental effects, including missed savings opportunities and a lack of adequate health coverage.


This can be especially challenging for employees who have a busy schedule or those who don’t feel confident about their ability to make decisions about their benefits. Your mission should be to keep open enrollment as simple as possible, helping to navigate them through the confusing parts that they might be stressed out about.


Tips to Promote Open Enrollment


To make the most of open enrollment season and successfully promote it, there are some things you can do to get ahead of the process. Here are some of the best tips to take advantage of before and during open enrollment.


Plan Early


Since open enrollment can be an overwhelming time, it is best to plan as early as possible. The quicker you can get any enrollment information to your employees, the easier the process is.


When employees are properly informed about their benefit elections, it is easier for them to make a decision and choose their plan. Having good communication in the workplace is helpful at all times, but especially during open enrollment.


Choose an Enrollment Date


To help your company strive for growth, It is best to set an early enrollment date. This gives the benefits department some time to submit any late requests or questions, and there is enough time to resolve any potential problems.

This allows you to better plan your open enrollment strategies for employees, letting them know the date of enrollment far in advance. When choosing an enrollment date, you should keep these factors in mind:

  • When to finalize plans and rates
  • When you will know your employee contributions
  • Duration of the enrollment period
  • How long it will take for you to organize everything
  • Carriers need the information by early December if the effective date begins January 1st
  • Give enough time for reports to generate and deductions to update if you take deductions in December


Decide On an Open Enrollment Strategy


You can either choose an active enrollment strategy or a passive enrollment strategy. Active enrollment involves mandatory employee participation, which takes a lot of time and effort for both the employer and employees. However, it allows employers to better educate the employees on their health benefits and inform them about their coverage plan options.


Passive enrollment is when the employee’s benefits roll over automatically into the next period. This can be problematic if your employees do not understand their current benefits and want to make changes. Passive enrollment is also a good option for those employees that forget to update their coverage each year.



How Can Strive Help?



Strive can help make the open enrollment process easier for employees and employers alike. Here are just a few of the ways that we can help:


Centralization – Through the Strive platform, all important benefit documents, scheduling links for open enrollment help, & benefit enrollment links to update enrollments are all centralized in one place.


Benefits Education – Strive provides comprehensive education and resources to help employees make informed decisions about their benefits.


Support – Strive offers dedicated support for employees and employers, ensuring that everyone has access to the help they need.


Add in about access anytime, anywhere & year-round engagement with benefits post open enrollment


At Strive, we understand the challenges that employers face during open enrollment season. That’s why we offer a comprehensive enrollment platform that makes the process easy and intuitive.


With our help, employees can quickly review and compare healthcare options, enroll in the plans that best meet their needs, and receive ongoing support to ensure that they get the most out of their benefits. Don’t let open enrollment season pass you by. Take advantage of this annual opportunity to make positive changes to your healthcare coverage and let Strive help guide you through the process!