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Open enrollment season is almost upon us — the period of time when employees are able to enroll in or change their employee medical, life, and disability benefit options.

Deciphering health insurance terms and coverage options, and making benefits decisions, can be confusing. Michigan Beverage Collective aims to make open enrollment a smooth process for our employers and their staff. Here are some tips to get you started.

Schedule Your Open Enrollment Period

Most calendar-year benefit plans begin on Jan. 1, with enrollment forms due to the benefit provider in mid-December. While there’s no required length for open enrollment periods, most employers choose to provide a period of at least two to four weeks for employees to review materials and complete forms.

Develop a Plan

Look at previous open enrollment processes and change anything that didn’t work. Determine how you’ll communicate with employees and handle their questions. (Some companies do much of this virtually, while others host small-group or one-on-one employee meetings.) Make sure employees have adequate training for enrolling online, especially if you’re introducing a new system this year.

Prepare Your Communications Materials

Clearly communicating employee options, requirements, and deadlines is key to a successful open enrollment. Provide information in a wide variety of formats with plenty of repetition, using email, texts, blogs, videos, staff meetings, flyers, and posters. Issue multiple deadline reminders throughout the open enrollment period.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Beverage Collective’s partner in providing medical and dental coverage, provides an Open Enrollment Employer Toolkit that includes flyers explaining PPO and HMO options and how to register for them, the advantages of an HSA, how to choose a primary physician, and much more. VSP, provider of vision benefits for Michigan Beverage Collective members, also offers employers a variety of open enrollment resources. Post these resources in the workplace and share with your employees via email and in-person meetings.

Michigan Beverage Collective is Here to Help

Michigan Beverage Collective helps members clearly communicate all available benefits, requirements, and deadlines and handles all open enrollment administration so you’re fully prepared for 2022. Contact us for more information.

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