Each year, employees have the option to change their medical coverage during a period called “open enrollment.”
This period can be confusing and chaotic if employers do not go in with a plan and an expectation that their employees will seek different coverage.
The more employees your business has, the higher the chances of multiple changes, and thus more work for your administrators.
Preparing for different outcomes and eventualities is the best way to ensure that you are prepared for the open enrollment period.
In this post, we will look at what the open enrollment period is, when it typically takes place, and how you can prepare.
The open enrollment period is the window of time each year that employees can change their medical insurance coverage. Their new coverage covers them for the next calendar year and they have the option to choose from several different options for their insurance.
During this time you can add or drop dependents, choose a different medical plan, sign up for new offerings, and more. For example, you can add a chiropractic or dental plan during the open enrollment period.
For small employers, the open enrollment period is typically the month prior to the renewal date of the policy.
Employees must be hasty when the open enrollment period comes because the window is usually only one to two weeks. Usually, you will find open enrollment takes place in the Fall.
During this time, employees will receive plan materials and have a chance to ask questions about their plan choices, and ultimately enroll in a plan.
Coverage begins on a specified date and will last you an entire year. Many companies hold their open enrollment in the Fall and coverage is effective from January 1 to December 31.
You need to know when this period is, prepare any questions you might have, know what changes you will make, and know what you plan on adding or dropping from the previous year.
To plan for changes you can run a report of how many times you and your dependents sought medical coverage over the last year how much your medical care cost you, and what aspects of your coverage you did not use or underused.
For employers looking to avoid the chaos the open enrollment period typically brings, they may want to plan for open enrollment in an off-period. For example, if you wanted easy open enrollment, you may elect to hold your period in the Spring. In that case, coverage would run from July 1 to June 30, or a similar range.
Health care benefits for small businesses are one of the most important features for attracting and retaining employees. Superior health care options will draw in more top-tier workers than higher wages or any other perk.
As SOCA, we’ve got you covered with standard health and wellness programs that help you and your employees thrive. You can save 20-25% on your monthly medical spending with the SOCA benefits plan.
That includes MEWAs, PEP retirement plans, and more.
If your small business needs superior benefits, reach out to SOCA today!
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