Experts speculate that the US Congress will append additional benefits to the Affordable Care Act as newer individual requirements keep mushrooming.
With more options likely to be available, there needs to be a better approach to ensure that enrollments for benefits go smoothly. There are three strategies that help you prepare in an organization.
1. Start early
If you start early, probably a year in advance, you will be in a position to explore all the “affordable care” options. It will give you access to a broader network of service providers. More choices means a greater chance of finding plans that actually meet the needs of your employees. You can also keep within budget that way.
With an early start, you will have time to interview vendors, get quotes and talk to your company’s stakeholders. Such decisions are neither quick nor easy to make. Take your time, it’s a good advice for multiple reasons.
2. Develop a plan for employee communication
Owing to its nature, benefits enrollment remains a sensitive topic. Forecasting what is affordable and which plans will stay relevant to the needs of different families is a rather overwhelming task.
Developing proper communication is just a way of removing stress from the entire process, for both, you and your employees. Your approach should be able to answer questions and help ease anxieties.
Start by developing the important questions:
- Which hospitals and physicians are covered under a particular network?
- How do the contributions, premiums, and deductibles compare between different plans?
- What were the changes made last year and the type of suggestions your employees need this year?
- What should be the common schedule for all employees and when to ideally remind them about the enrolment?
Answers to these questions, and a separate FAQs page, will let you create an internal website or portal to facilitate the actions for your employees.
3. Explain yearly changes
While your company makes annual changes around enrolments, let your employees know a month in advance. Then, one week prior to enrolment, send a reminder. Use printed posters or emails depending on things that work best in your office set up. You can use a text-messaging system for sending notifications if required.
If you make annual changes, make sure your staff understands them:
- What have they already availed?
- What are they going to gain?
- Are they losing anything?
- What are the future steps?
You may explain what actions your employees need to take for maintaining the policy they have. You can offer them help with contact information of an agent who is able to answer queries.