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Proactive Brokers Win During Open Enrollment

Benefit enrollment season can be a stressful time for employers and employees. They are often focused on changes to their existing insurance coverage, which can negatively affect their understanding of voluntary benefits. Brokers will need to be proactive to engage clients and their employees during benefit enrollment.

For an effective enrollment, brokers need a well-designed strategy. Employers and employees must fully understand the benefits that are being offered. Without product education, employees are often confused about the product’s purpose, and the opportunity to enroll in needed coverage can be missed, according to the Eastbridge report “Enrollment Companies Evolve with the Voluntary Market.”1 Brokers must look to products that also accommodate the employee’s needs and teach them the basics of each offering. Education is critical, especially when coverage is at the employee’s expense.

Diversified communication services are a must. Traditional communication methods are still in demand, such as posters and postcards, as well as newer electronic services like online employee decision tools and custom websites.1 Employee demographics are changing, with a new generation of employees entering the workforce. Each has a preferred communication method. Brokers will have to be proactive to meet employee needs across various life stages.

The ability to offer a wide range of enrollment methods is crucial to staying competitive.1 Some employees may prefer to meet with someone face- to-face while another prefers self-enrolling through an online benefit portal. All methods must be supported with good communication and flexibility to serve the employer and increase employee participation.1

Changes in technology have opened more doors for enrollment companies. Employers can now take advantage of data management, ACA compliance solutions tools and online platforms.1 Mobile applications designed for brokers deliver real-time, instant employee enrollment data that can help retain clients.

Eighty percent of employees say that having a customized enrollment would increase their loyalty to their employer.2 Know your client’s communication preferences and get a clear understanding of the generations that make up their workforce. Use that information and communicate using the right vehicle: toll-free help line, group meetings, benefit webinars, online decision support tools such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), mailings to home or even mobile messaging. Make it easy for the employees. Be a proactive broker and help your clients achieve a smooth, successful enrollment.

  1. Eastbridge Consulting Group, “Enrollment Companies Evolve with the Voluntary Market.” Sept. 2015.
  2. MetLife’s 12th Annual US Employee Benefit Trends Study
   
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