Virtual Open Enrollment Best Practices
For many companies, it’s open enrollment season! The fall is a popular time for employees to choose and enroll in health insurance plans for the upcoming calendar year. With remote work rising in popularity, many companies will offer virtual open enrollment. We’ve compiled some best practices for ensuring your remote employees feel included, understand their options, and know how to ask questions during this period.
What is virtual open enrollment?
Typically, once a year, companies allow employees to review and elect their employee benefit options for the upcoming year. There is no required amount of time for an open enrollment period, but many companies open it for two to four weeks. Employee benefits may include health insurance, dental or vision coverage, and life insurance. Nowadays, employees almost always complete this process online, but remote employees may have an entirely virtual open enrollment process, meaning they will not be able to speak in-person with their HR representative or attend onsite events.
Companies can successfully include and educate remote employees with just a little bit of effort.
Troubleshoot tech for virtual open enrollment
Keep the process running smoothly from the start by ensuring all your technology is functional for remote employees. If you’re giving a presentation in a hybrid environment, ensure there is a video feed for those taking part in virtual open enrollment with clear sound and visuals.
Another great way to include offsite employees is personalized video. At Covideo, we offer technology for professionals to record, edit, and send videos through email, which provides an easy way to touch base. You can record a couple videos to remind employees of upcoming deadlines and work them into an informative email campaign.
Simplify and explain the process
Create a communications plan to educate and prepare employees on the process long before open enrollment—whether remote or in-person. This may involve an email campaign, personal phone calls, presentations over Zoom, or designated times for question-and-answer sessions. Ensure your communications plan allows employees working from anywhere to access the same information.
For all employees, choosing a healthcare plan is an important investment. However, the process can be fraught with technical language and big numbers. You can make the virtual open enrollment process easier by preparing PDFs with your marketing team that break down information in a helpful way and provide a glossary of terms to assist with unfamiliar language.
Designate a virtual open enrollment point of contact
Remote employees should know exactly who to contact during the virtual open enrollment period if they have questions or concerns. For companies using outsourced HR software or services, employees should have an internal contact but also know who to contact at their benefits company. Delineating which requests should go to whom will save a lot of time.
This is yet another place where personalized video can make a big impact. There are some things that are easier to communicate with inflection, body language, and tone of voice. You can create personalized videos to send back to employees when they ask questions. If you’re getting similar questions frequently, you can prepare these answer videos ahead of time. (See a demo to see how you can do this easily with Covideo!)
Empower your employees to understand their medical needs
It’s also important that employees understand their medical needs and how the health plan will address them. Organizations like the Society for Human Resources Management have many helpful resources, including 10 questions employees should ask when choosing a new health plan. For example, have there been any changes in prescription drug coverage? Has your employer added any voluntary benefits that may be helpful?
Some companies offer additional wellness benefits or contributions to Heath Savings Accounts. During virtual open enrollment, the employer should include clear information on these perks and any changes that may impact the plan the employee chooses.
Whether your company is participating in in-person, hybrid, or virtual open enrollment, all employees deserve to be informed and access resources. With a little planning ahead, HR pros can ensure employees working from anywhere feel included and empowered to make the best decisions for their health and family.
If you haven’t yet incorporated video into the process, why not try it out? Try Covideo for free to see how HR pros are using personalized video to make stronger connections.