Implementation and Administration

4 Ways to Make This Year's Open Enrollment the Best Ever

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Fall signifies the launch of benefits open enrollment in companies across the United States. As you prepare to offer your employees a competitive benefits package and drive enrollment, consider implementing four success factors from ARAG, a leader in legal insurance. According to case study research, participation may increase nearly 30% when all four success factors are used during benefits open enrollment.1

1. Have a single enrollment period for both core and voluntary benefits.

Many employers choose to separate core enrollment from voluntary enrollment; however, research shows that enrolling in all benefits at one time can result in higher participation.1

"According to ARAG Client Data, employers who offer voluntary benefits — such as legal insurance or long-term care — at the same time as health insurance experience much higher participation," said Dennis Healy, ARAG Chief Sales Officer.

"When ARAG implements a legal plan for a client, we always recommend a single enrollment period — to both drive participation and streamline the process for employees and the benefits department."

2. Offer payroll deduction.

Voluntary benefits paid for with payroll deduction have five times the participation of benefits using direct pay.1

"Payroll deduction is a no-brainer," said Erin Barfels, ARAG Chief Human Resources Officer. "It simplifies payment for both the employee and the participating company's finance department. At ARAG, we offer payroll deduction for everything from benefits to charitable donations to 529 college savings plans to drive participation to the highest level."

3. Communicate early and often.

Voluntary benefits supported by a strong communication plan — featuring messages that are both early in the process and frequent – result in four times higher participation.1

"In the complex world of employee benefits, it's better to over-communicate than not provide enough information to your employees," said Barfels.

"We work very hard to review any benefits changes with our team members and help them choose the health care plan and voluntary benefits that make the most sense for them. Also, we encourage our employees to take into account any upcoming life changes or new health issues that may have developed since they last enrolled in benefits."

4. Demonstrate your support.

Companies showing their support of a benefit, either by offering onsite meetings, personalized emails or testimonials, have the highest impact on participation with rates nearly 10 times higher.1

How much difference can using these best practices really make? A comparison of the open enrollment experiences from two ARAG clients shows implementing the four success factors listed above can increase participation from less than 3 percent to more than 30 percent1 — truly making this year's open enrollment the best ever.

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