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It’s almost that time of year again for employees to sign up for health care benefits. With the health and financial impacts of COVID-19 still lingering, it’s never been more important to explain health benefits to your employees – early and often.

Taking the extra time to explain the value of health benefits will pay long-term dividends in attracting and retaining employees that keep Michigan’s beer and wine industry running strong. Determining the best health benefits and coverage options can be confusing. Michigan Beverage Collective, which proudly offers 15 medical plans to beer and wine industry employers, is here to help guide you through this process.

Step 1: Schedule Your Open Enrollment Period

Most calendar-year benefit plans take effect on Jan. 1, with enrollment forms due to benefit providers in mid-December. During this time, employees can enroll in or change their medical, life and disability benefit options. While there’s no required length for open enrollment, we recommend a period of at least two for employees to review materials and complete forms.

Step 2: Develop a Plan

Change anything that created confusion, or just plain didn’t work, during previous open enrollment periods. Plan ahead to answer likely employee questions, and how you’ll communicate with employees to resolve concerns. Some companies do much of this virtually, while others host small-group or one-on-one employee meetings. In all cases, make sure your employees have adequate training for enrolling online, especially if you’re introducing a new enrollment system this year.

Step 3: Prepare Your Communication Materials

A successful open enrollment will rely on clearly communicating all policy options, requirements, and deadlines. Employees will use different forms of communication to varying degrees, making it critical to provide information in a wide range of formats, such as email, texts, blogs, videos, staff meetings, flyers, and posters. Make sure to communicate messages on your health plans numerous times and remind employees of looming deadlines.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Beverage Collective’s partner in providing medical and dental coverage, provides an Open Enrollment Employer Toolkit, which 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 at work and share them with your employees via email and in-person meetings.

Step 4: Contact Michigan Beverage Collective for Open Enrollment 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 2023.

Contact us today to learn more.

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