Open enrollment season has returned once again. That means companies everywhere are evaluating their options, educating team members about available plans and working to make sure every detail is in order. Of course, doing so is often easier said than done. Read on for insight aimed at helping your open enrollment season run more smoothly.


Get Word Out Early and Often

Employees should never be forced to make important plan decisions on the fly during open enrollment meetups. Advance knowledge helps put everyone at ease. A week (or more) ahead of the meeting, put out an announcement that open enrollment is coming up. In addition, provide each person with their specific plan options. Send out reminders every couple of days, and make sure team members know who they can turn to with any questions or concerns. Of course, procrastination is human nature. While there’s still a possibility that some people will find themselves making those last-minute plan decisions, your HR team can rest assured knowing they did everything possible to ensure people were prepared.


Keep Everyone on the Same Page

Insurance lingo is a language all its own — and for the uninitiated, it can be intimidating. Provide team members with a handy list of terms they’ll need to know. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Deductible: A specific dollar amount you pay out of pocket before benefits are available through a health plan. Under some plans, the deductible is waived for certain services.
  • Copayment: A flat fee that you pay toward the cost of covered medical services.
  • Out-of-network: Health care you receive without a physician referral, or services received by a non-network service provider. Out-of-network health care and plan payments are subject to deductibles and copayments.

NOTE: For a more extensive list, download our Open Enrollment Glossary of Terms.


Keep Meetings Informative, Friendly and On Topic

People often feel out of their element when discussing matters like insurance. Create a meeting agenda that ensures you’ll cover the issues that matter most to your crew, and work hard to stay on track. Encourage everyone to ask questions throughout the meeting. After all, if there’s something one person doesn’t understand, chances are someone else in the room is in the same boat. In addition, make sure the team has a point of contact they can consult with questions after the fact — whether they need guidance filling out paperwork or checking in on the amount remaining on their flexible spending account.


Open enrollment can seem stressful, but it plays an important role in ensuring team members have what they need to keep themselves — and their families — healthy. Our Open Enrollment Education Opportunities sheet offers great insight you can use to keep your meetings on target and your team in the know. If you have questions, please feel free to contact BCH. Our team of experts is always happy to help.