July 15, 2019

Now is the Time to Begin Thinking Open Enrollment: Are You Prepared?

Continuous Improvement, HCM Support, HCM System Support, Year End Payroll Planning
hannah-wei-aso6SYJZGps-unsplash

We are all guilty of letting things slide to the back burner. It’s easy to say, “it can wait,” to all kinds of to-do’s, like power-washing the house, booking a hair appointment or taking your car in for its 60,000 mile maintenance. It happens at work too: that report can wait; that new training protocol can start later; I’ll log that expense next week. But, when you oversee tens, hundreds or even thousands of employees, letting one particular to-do slide to the back burner is guaranteed to cause serious problems: open enrollment. 

Open enrollment is a major time of year. It impacts people’s well-being in a way that can be life-changing. Failure to prepare for open enrollment means you’ll need to prepare for a team of very disgruntled employees. And we’ve already discussed why you should be worried about unhappy employees (hint: it’s not good for your bottom line.)

Open enrollment for 2020 starts in November and ends in mid-December. November might sound far away, but take it from us, it really isn’t. Now is the perfect time to begin preparing for open enrollment. But what does that preparation look like?

First, you’ll need to select a healthcare plan that works for your business based on its size, employee demographics, compensation budget and needs. Once you have selected several viable options, you’ll need your executives to buy-in. This process alone can take months of research, weighing options, presenting, meeting, revising and finalizing. Start too late, and you’ll end up with a plan that doesn’t meet the needs of your company, neither in price, size nor coverage options.

By the time you’ve selected a suitable plan for the business, you probably don’t want to hear the words “healthcare benefits” ever again. Fear not—we know that selecting a healthcare plan is not the most stress-free of times. And that’s why this is the perfect time for Wise Consulting to step in.

Janice Burnett, one of the benefits experts at Wise Consulting, regularly steps in after her clients have selected their businesses’ healthcare benefits in order to streamline the integration process. 

“It’s all about organization,” Janice says. “Once our client is ready to integrate their new benefits into their existing HRIS system, we help them to create a strategy and map out milestones for completion. We also help make sure the vendor feeds are organized, accurate and secure to ensure a seamless and protected transition. You pick the plan, and we make sure you are delivered exactly what you’ve purchased.” 

Of course, Janice knows all too well that early preparation isn’t always possible. Fortunately, Wise is able to step in at any time, even at the last moment, in order to help a client make the open enrollment deadline. 

“It happens a lot…many of our non-profit clients aren’t able to prepare early because they are waiting for critical revenue. Some clients think they have the details worked out, but realize at the last moment that a key coverage component is missing from their plan. Whatever the case, Wise can minimize the stress this time of the year brings by making sure the plan is properly integrated.” 

One of her most recent clients, a manufacturing company, just finished open enrollment in early June. As Janice began the process of integrating their new benefits, she realized that key components of their benefits plan hadn’t been ironed out. Despite this, she was still able to help them meet their deadlines for open enrollment. 

“It might not be the ideal situation, but life happens. That’s why Wise is a great resource when you need a lightning-fast turnaround time,” she said. “And, when we walk away, we make sure we are leaving the client empowered to know how the benefits work and how the system is calculating the rules stipulated by the benefits plan. We are big on knowledge transfer and client empowerment.”

Ready for Wise Consulting to help you make this the easiest and most stress-free Open Enrollment period yet? Contact us today for more information on how our benefits experts and HRIS specialists can help.