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Thursday, 24 September 2020 22:33

Taking Virtual Open Enrollment to the Next Level

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It’s clear that virtual open enrollment meetings are part of our new normal. Whether you’ve been doing them for years or for the first time this year, there’s a lot to consider if you want to make them as successful as possible. Fall River has been assisting our clients with ideas and best practices to make the process as seamless and engaging as possible for HR professionals and employees. Our national partner, Alera, hosted a great webinar in early September entitled Taking Virtual Open Enrollment to the Next Level

The Alera webinar covered topics such as why virtual open enrollment makes sense, how to maximize the impact of your virtual open enrollment on employees, and ways to engage your audience in the virtual world. As we all adjust to the new virtual working world, here are some reasons why virtual open enrollment is a great idea (besides COVID, of course):

  • Scheduling and coordinating on-site meetings is often difficult

  • Many employees prefer to participate from home

  • Most everyone is doing it this year and very likely in future years

  • Would also create job protections for employees who take paid family and medical leave

  • You can often reach a larger audience virtually rather than in-person

  • There’s no added cost for virtual meetings


Now that you have several reasons to hold open enrollment virtually, here are some best practices to make them as successful as possible:

  • Show participants you care by addressing their needs, preferences, and expectations of the meeting

  • Employees would be entitled to keep benefits during their leave, but required to continue paying their portion of the health premium

  • Avoid using jargon and acronyms; specific benefits terms should be define

  • Add in some sort of interactive piece (maybe a game or trivia) to keep participants engaged

  • Review any benefit or carrier changes at a high-level first, then go into details

  • Address COVID-related concerns by highlighting resources like Telemedicine, EAPs, and mental health benefits

  • Allow participants to submit questions in advance (some find it intimidating to speak up in a large meeting) AND have a live Q&A portion at the end of the meeting

  • Keep your prepared remarks to a minimum, but be sure to highlight important changes and employee need-to-knows

  • Send out materials in advance, as this helps keep meetings short for easily distracted/busy audiences

  • Test the technology in advance and have a back up plan in case it doesn’t work

Fall River’s Client Managers are pros at virtual open enrollment meetings! Please contact us if you would like to discuss your virtual open meeting strategy in more detail. Also, to review the full Alera webinar from which these tips came from, please click here.

Read 1327 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 September 2020 14:50
Amy De Lorenzo

Amy Johnston is an Account Manager with extensive experience working with both large and small employers as a broker.  In addition to five years of broker experience prior to joining Fall River, she also brings eight years of insurance carrier expertise.  Amy is an expert on ERISA, the Affordable Care Act, and other compliance issues.

Ms. Johnston received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Colorado State University. She is a Colorado native from Steamboat Springs, and loves spending time in the mountains with her husband, two children, and Tucker the cocker spaniel. She enjoys snowshoeing, hiking, and philanthropy work to promote education.