Although they still have their work cut out for them, this month’s Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark highlights some bright spots for employers whose benefit enrollments are slated to take place in the first quarter of 2018.

For this group, which represents nearly 70% of all employers, February’s overall Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB) score stands at 44 out of 100—virtually unchanged from January. However, the number of red flags fell month to month from, showing real progress by companies in meeting with brokers and advisers, answering employee questions and measuring employee enrollment engagement.

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 benchmark, employers were asked to rate their progress for each of 26 distinct activities on a scale of 1 to 100, with a score of 100 signifying that the employer is fully prepared for that activity. The individual scores are then combined to produce a readiness score for each of the four critical phases of open enrollment—benefit plan design, preparation, employee enrollment and post-enrollment analysis—as well as for the overall benchmark score.