During this year’s open enrollment, I’m guessing many employers moved to an online enrollment system. In today’s digital age, online enrollment is not only becoming more popular, but employees have come to expect it. Supporting this fact, I recently saw some data from a Guardian study that revealed the use of online benefits enrollment has more than doubled in five years.
However, the same study also revealed that even with online enrollment, benefit communication and engagement challenges still persist, leaving some employees underinsured.
While sending employees online to complete their benefits enrollment greatly streamlines the process for employers, the communication component is still critical. This is something we’ve always maintained, and we saw it during some of our clients’ recent enrollments.
This year, we had a number of clients interested in moving online to streamline their benefits enrollment and administration. We implemented a web-based system and produced accompanying benefit guides containing detailed information about each program, as well as self-enrollment instructions. Our call center was also available if employees needed any assistance while enrolling.
During those enrollments, our call center experienced approximately double the anticipated call volume. Despite the ease and convenience of the online enrollment, employees still felt more comfortable discussing their benefits with a live person as they proceeded through the system. And the employees encompassed all ages and various industries, including hospitals, manufacturers, municipalities and technology firms.
While new technologies are significantly improving the enrollment process for employers and employees alike, conducting a focused and effective communication campaign is critical to the overall success of your benefit programs.
How do you handle online enrollment? Let me know in the comments.
Mantz is Vice President of Sales at The Farmington Company, a national provider of benefits communication and voluntary benefits services. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-621-0067, extension 6703.
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