Due to our changing healthcare climate this year (with ACA and AHCA), this year’s open enrollment strategy needs to be different. Here are three tips for developing your strategy.
We are still in the era of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is looming in the wings. Be prepared to answer employee’s questions around this healthcare flux. Employees are likely to be confused and have questions about what’s the current law vs. what’s being proposed and when any changes might become effective. This year’s hot topics may include changes to flexible spending accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) contributions. Other employees may have more general questions about their plan or wonder what changes might be made to their benefits plan moving forward. Your consultant or broker is a good resource for answers you may not know.
Last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted a new Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBC) template to be used after April 2017. This template includes some significant content and format changes, new coverage examples and a new coverage calculator. Familiarize yourself with these templates to anticipate/plan for any programming or process changes that might need to be implemented.
Understanding health insurance and selecting a plan can be overwhelming for most employees. Nearly half of all Americans have difficulty understanding and using health information. Employees need tools, resources and information to help them make appropriate healthcare decisions. Make sure that your benefits/enrollment strategy includes a hefty dose of employee education/communication such as brochures, posters, payroll stuffers, flyers or a simple animated video. Ask your consultant or broker for materials or to do a presentation at your worksite. When defining your enrollment strategy, you’ll need to understand each audience segment, their level of understanding on the subject matter, what are their particular concerns and how best to communicate with them.
Contact your Benefits Consultant if you have any questions about ACA, AHCA or your upcoming open enrollment.