For the first time in five months, Employee Benefit Adviser’s Open Enroll­ment Readiness Benchmark finds employ­ers with benefit start dates in the first quarter of 2018 more prepared for open enrollment than they were the month before. However, they continue to report that they have made scant progress across a range of key activities, and time is running out.

The overall OERB score — a composite of progress self-assessments for 26 open enroll­ment activities — for these employers edged up four points from 36 in May to 40 in June. In fact, averages of activity readiness scores in each of the four open enrollment phases covered by the benchmark increased month-over-month.

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

Yet the average for activities in the enrollment management phase was just 24 in June – only two points up from its all-time low, which it hit last month. In fact, the enrollment manage­ment phase encompassed five of the six activ­ities with the lowest scores in this most-recent benchmark.

Scores of 20 or below for items such as boosting enrollment engagement underscore how much help employers need from advisers to make it through the cycle.