While things have yet to return to normal since the onset of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, open enrollment will go on as scheduled for many companies. This annual window of time gives workers the opportunity to change health insurance plans.
For human resource teams, open enrollment is a complex process. It can take months to prepare for this 2- to 4-week period. Some of the most common challenges for enrollment administrators include:
● Reaching every employee
● Managing information
● Meeting enrollment deadlines
● Maximizing participation
● Addressing questions from numerous employees
Why is it so important to get your organization’s open enrollment right? Nearly half of the U.S. population—49.6% to be exact—gets their health insurance through their employers. So, it’s essential that each and every one of those workers receives the information they need to select the health insurance that’s right for them and their dependents. The best way a company can achieve this is to meet their employees where they’re at on their mobile phones.
Digital transformation has accelerated during the pandemic. That means more companies have the resources to bring their open enrollment online. With a mobile employee app, HR teams can maximize their chances of a successful enrollment season and maximize employee participation.
A mobile-first communication tool—like a workplace app that employees can access on the device of their choice—offers companies a way to reach every employee in real time no matter where they are. It’s become an essential piece of workplace technology now that workforces are more dispersed than ever. Not only is remote work here to stay, but 80% of the global workforce is non-desk, frontline workers. A mobile-first tool can help an organization stay connected to everyone for day-to-day communication as well as for specific campaigns, like open enrollment.
By creating a single destination for all enrollment-related communication, HR personnel can create a smoother, more efficient process for both the administrative teams that coordinate it all and the employees who have to receive, read and understand all of the information. Here are 10 ways a mobile productivity tool can maximize participation for your most successful open enrollment yet.
- Reach and connect every worker. One survey found that 79% of workers receive open enrollment information through email. But, for frontline workers who often don’t have a company email address, this is an inefficient method of communication. (Not to mention that younger generations, who make up a growing part of today’s workforce, simply don’t like to communicate over email.) A mobile communication tool reaches every worker no matter where they’re based. With COVID-19 hitting essential workers especially hard, getting the right health insurance information to them is critical to help everyone make informed decisions.
- Streamline communication. Think about how much paperwork goes along with open enrollment. With a mobile productivity tool, all information is centralized in one place. Enrollment coordinators can create a dedicated communication stream where all enrollment information can live. Workers simply have to click on the folder on the app’s homescreen to find the enrollment information they need, like plan summaries and applications.
- Anywhere, anytime access to enrollment information. For frontline workers who are often on the go, a mobile tool allows them to access information whenever they need and from wherever they are. They no longer have to store bulky health plan catalogs at home anymore. All of the information stays in the same place year-round, so employees who have a qualifying life change, like a new child, can access health insurance information anytime.
- Create a virtual help desk. The most common pain points of enrollment come down to properly filling out insurance applications and getting employees to check the right boxes. Create quick how-to videos with a step-by-step tutorial to help guide employees through the paperwork. Workers often fill out these forms at home when they’re with their partner and families. When enrollment information is available on a cloud-based platform, they can simply access the guides on their mobile device when it’s most convenient for them.
- Answer employee questions. Enrollment is a complex process with an abundance of information for employees to process. With two-way communication, they can direct questions to enrollment specialists with 1:1 chats, or FAQ chatbots can give employees answers to the most frequently asked questions or redirect them to an HR team member for personalized help.
- Support a diverse workforce. For HR teams, delivering critical information to a diverse, multilingual workforce can be challenging. A mobile solution can instantly translate communication to ensure every worker comprehends enrollment information. For companies with a large international workforce, there are mobile solutions that support over 100 different languages.
- Automate communication. Open enrollment communication often involves time-consuming, redundant messaging. By moving enrollment to a digital platform, enrollment specialists can automate and personalize messages for a more efficient communication strategy. This frees them up to focus on other enrollment tasks that require attention. Automated reminders of enrollment deadlines can help ensure people complete their forms on time.
- Ensure people receive critical messages. In the past, it was almost impossible to know who opened and read enrollment communication. With a mobile productivity tool, recipients can confirm when they’ve read a message with one tap. This allows enrollment teams to target communication efforts and follow up with specific employees who are not accessing critical communication.
- Make enrollment understandable. With a lot of confusing jargon, reviewing health plans can be overwhelming. Only 9% of people understand the four basic healthcare terms, like “health plan deductible.” That number is likely to drop with the more complex phrases, like Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA). Reduce the intimidation factor by creating an online glossary to explain terminology that is stored in your mobile tool’s document library. The more employees understand, the more likely they’ll be to complete enrollment.
- Get employee feedback to improve the enrollment process. Once enrollment has finished for the year, find out how it went for employees. With a mobile tool, you’ll be able to track engagement throughout your campaign. But, you should also solicit feedback directly from workers. Create a survey over the mobile productivity tool to find out what worked and what didn’t. Then, act on those suggestions to improve your strategy. You’ll get more participation when open enrollment rolls around again next year.