Employers with benefit start dates in the first quarter of 2018 are spinning their wheels when it comes to their open enrollment preparations.

The composite Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark score for this group, which accounts for nearly 70% of all employers, has been hovering around the 40 mark since January, when Employee Benefit Adviser launched the survey. For April, it came in at 39, and the number of activity-related red flags, which indicate a serious lack of preparedness, rose from 10 the prior month to an all-time high of 12. While the number of green flags signaling a solid state of readiness rose from two to three, on balance, employers don’t seem to be making any real progress.

Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark
Overall Readiness
Phase
Activity
Readiness
Progress
Phase Readiness

Phase 1

Benefit Plan Design

Phase 1

Benefit Plan Design

Phase 2

Open Enrollment Preparation

Phase 2

Open Enrollment Preparation

Phase 3

Open Enrollment Management

Phase 3

Open Enrollment Management

Phase 4

Open Enrollment Design Analysis & Follow-Up

Phase 4

Open Enrollment Design Analysis & Follow-Up

To calculate the OERB benchmark, EBA asks employers of all sizes to rate themselves on each of 26 open enrollment activities grouped into the four phases of open enrollment preparation: benefit plan design, employee preparation, enrollment management and post-enrollment analysis. Scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 100 and reflect the degree to which an employer considers itself prepared for a particular activity. The activity scores are then averaged to determine scores for each of the four phases and an overall readiness score.