“Open enrollment” is the phrase used to refer to the annual period during which your employees may sign up for a health insurance plan. During this time, they may switch to a different health plan or enroll in your company’s plan. This time frame generally applies to almost any type of insurance plan your organization offers (health, dental, vision, disability, life, etc.). Group plan open enrollment dates are different for each organization but renewals are almost always one year from the plan’s effective date. For example, if your effective date was November 1, 2019, your renewal date would be November 1, 2020.
Anyone who has a qualifying life event (e.g. losing health coverage, having a baby, or getting married) is eligible to purchase insurance outside of open enrollment.
How To Prepare For Open Enrollment
If your employees intend to obtain insurance during your open enrollment, it’s important for them (and you) to know in advance what the dates of this period are. However, there are also three specific actions to take in order to prepare for open enrollment. You must always review your group benefits plan, check a plan’s renewal period, and evaluate any existing company changes or needs.
Review Your Group Benefits Plan
Before your workers begin to weigh all their options, you should consider assessing your group benefits plan’s offerings in order to determine whether these match your employees’ specific needs (i.e. cost and quality of plans). Your workers’ needs will likely depend on several factors, including their income level, health, and overall life situation (e.g. pregnancy or impending retirement). Therefore, it’s important to remain informed about your employees’ respective situations.
According to the Department of Labor, a group health plan is “an employee welfare benefit plan that provides medical care for participants or their dependents.” Employers may offer this type of plan either directly or via reimbursement.
Check Your Plan’s Renewal Period
If you already provide insurance, be sure to check your plan’s renewal period (this is often exactly one year after you purchased it). This is the optimal time to perform an audit of your existing plan. Throughout this period, be sure to consider the following things:
- Have any of your insurance plans (medical, dental, or vision) recently changed in terms of cost or coverage?
- Is your team satisfied with your current insurance plan? You can find out for certain by having all of your employees anonymously complete a survey. Surveying is a service offered by New City Insurance and a great way to help your workers feel as though they are contributing to finding new solutions for your company.
Evaluate Any Company Changes Or Needs
During the open enrollment period, it’s not only imperative to review your employees’ individual needs. You should also evaluate whether your business’s needs have changed due to any variations the company has recently undergone. For example, if you have lost a large number of employees over the past year and have struggled to hire new workers for some time, you could consider improving the quality of your benefits package. This can potentially help you remain competitive in your industry. A few simple adjustments can help your organization be viewed as a significantly more appealing place to work.
Work With Qualified Open Enrollment Professionals
Speak to the qualified professionals at New City Insurance in San Diego for more information on the Open Enrollment Period and how to prepare for it. Since our founding in 2008, we have been dedicated to helping clients obtain customized and high-quality insurance solutions and to reshaping the insurance industry one step at a time.
At New City Insurance, our objective is to help our clients become more competitive in their respective industries by providing employee benefits packages designed to increase overall well-being, retention, and productivity. The benefits we offer include 401k & retirement plans, group health insurance, wellness plans, and executive benefits (e.g. deferred compensation plans, asset allocation, wealth planning). For group health insurance, we offer both high-premium and low-premium plans (with low and high deductibles, respectively). Call New City Insurance today at (888) 210-2759 or contact us online to learn more about our insurance offerings or to request a consultation.