Evaluating open enrollment: Value of the broker's perspective

The most recent open enrollment session is worth a closer look at the end of the year. With the future of health care regulation in the U.S. once again unclear due to a federal judge's recent ruling against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requirements for individuals and organizations alike could end up in flux.

"Brokers are ideal advisers when it comes to open enrollment."

Benefits brokers are uniquely qualified to offer valuable insights into open enrollment's success (or failure) and suggest improvements for the next period. Here are just a few topics on which brokers can offer expertise:

Employee priorities

Factors ranging from health care's status as a hot-button political issue to rising medical costs combine to keep health benefits top of mind for most Americans. According to Benefits Pro, the growing desire for voluntary benefits plans exemplifies this trends. Additionally, some workers aren't just focused on health coverage – they also want perks like tuition reimbursement and student loan assistance. 

Benefits brokers monitor developments like these closely and thus are best equipped to explain them to clients. If a less-than-appealing benefit offering hamstrung this year's open enrollment, for example, brokers may advise an organization to overhaul its coverage options.

Engagement levels

Employers seek 100 percent participation in open enrollment meetings, even among workers opting out of coverage. When employees miss information sessions, HR has to track them down, taking time away from other duties. Managers and brokers should examine open enrollment engagement and perhaps issue a brief survey to learn directly from staff what they did and didn't like about the process.

Ideal tools

After reviewing the open enrollment process together, benefits brokers and company leaders may determine that the organization's human capital management software impeded open enrollment. Brokers can recommend a better platform for managing this process, such as the eHCM software solution from PeopleStrategy.