Although benefits open enrollment takes place every year, we don’t always get our open enrollment communication plan right. There are many reasons why this happens, but it’s important to make sure our employees are aware of the benefits available to them and set up to enroll on time successfully.
What is Benefits Open Enrollment?
Benefits open enrollment is the time period each year where employees can enroll in a health insurance plan for the following year. This is the only time, other than a qualifying life event, where employees can enroll themselves in benefits.
Depending on your company’s benefits offerings, your open enrollment period might also include investing in a 401k. Many companies take this time to also notify employees of special discounts, employee perks, and additional benefits other than health coverage. Those other benefits might include things like flexible working options, childcare support, continuing education programs, or remote work.
Who is Responsible for Communicating About Open Enrollment?
The responsibility for communicating about open enrollment typically falls on the Human Resources (HR) department, often in collaboration with the Benefits or Total Rewards team. They’re responsible for informing employees about the upcoming open enrollment period, explaining any changes to benefit plans, providing necessary enrollment materials, and addressing employee questions or concerns related to benefits.
Effective communication is crucial during this time to ensure employees have a clear understanding of their options and can make informed decisions about their benefits coverage. So, even though the human resources team owns the process for selecting and managing health insurance, we think open enrollment campaigns perform best when HR partners with internal comms to create the communications plan.
When Should You Start Creating Your Open Enrollment Communication Plan?
When you start planning your open enrollment communications really depends on the size of your company. If you are a small company where you can easily reach everyone, you might not need as much lead time. If you are a larger company with deskbound and deskless workers, you’ll want to create your plan ahead of time.
Starting early will give you plenty of time to set your open enrollment goals, plan your comms campaign, and create all the necessary materials.
What Our Open Enrollment Communications Plan Guide Contains:
- Open enrollment comms planning best practices
- How to form a stronger partnership between HR & internal comms
- Create an open enrollment communication strategy, including goal setting, campaign planning, and measuring success.
- Open enrollment campaign ideas and templates
- Pre and post-enrollment survey templates