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3 Tips for Developing Your Open Enrollment Strategy

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.


Healthcare Flux

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.


New SBC Template

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.


Employee Education

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.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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