In 2021, large-scale employers are expecting the average cost of health care per employee to top $15,500, a 5.3% increase from 2020. This increase is on par with the increase seen over the past several years, according to the Business Group on Health's survey of large employers. Most of the burden of organizing and administering an organization’s employee benefit plan falls to the HR department. Most HR professionals have an extensive list of responsibilities outside of employee benefits, so the renewal process is only a fraction of the job. Your HR department may feel bombarded each year at renewal time by the seemingly endless questions about benefits from employees, the fear of rising costs of benefits packages and a mountain of information to process. However, HR professionals can and should use some of their existing skillsets to administer an effective employee benefits program that avoids common renewal pitfalls. Review the four following tips from Eureka Insurance Solutions to help your company pinpoint the areas in which your company can improve the efficiency of the renewal process and maintain overall employee satisfaction.
Tip 1: Prepare Communication Strategies with Efficiency in Mind
One of the best things you can do is be proactive where renewal is concerned. Scheduling a meeting to take place with employees before the renewal helps to reduce time constraints that often hamper the renewal process. Pre-renewal meetings should be well-thought-out to address the needs of employees and to explore new options concerning benefit packages. Post-renewal, schedule another meeting with the HR staff and/or employees to analyze the process and plan for the future. This continuous communication cycle will no doubt improve the renewal process both immediately and over time.
Tip 2: Streamline Methods for Sharing Updates
Most organizations utilize open enrollment for benefits renewal. You may even have a system in place to process renewals. However, if you spend large amounts of time each year answering emails filled with questions, you lose valuable work time that could be spent on other projects and end up with frustrated employees. In order to gain efficiency in this process, it is important to look at the different ways your employees receive updates about their options. Options could be shared via app, website, advertising, brochures or even at seminars. If you can streamline and automate this process, your audience will respond more positively. There are a wide variety of software programs available to help customize the process.
Tip 3: Confirm Plan Changes in Advance
Before sending out any renewal information, HR directors and leaders should confirm any plan changes in advance. No one likes to be surprised by a change in vendor or discontinuation of a product at the last minute and your employees should be no exception. Will costs go up for the organization or the employee? Planning to share any plan changes will minimize long-term frustration and help to streamline the overall process.
Tip 4: Ensure Leaders are Well-Versed on Answering Questions
Many HR professionals wonder why employees do not seem to value their benefits when organizations spend so much money on them. Shockingly, a survey found that 96% of Americans can’t define the four most common health insurance terms. To combat this conundrum, educate HR leaders on common questions, misconceptions and issues that employees present with regard to renewal. When leaders can quickly answer these questions, you cut down on time spent on the renewal process and improve employee satisfaction with the HR department.
Streamlining the renewal process can reduce stress and save time and resources. Do you want to head into the next renewal period prepared? If you have answered yes, get confident in the fact that it is possible to streamline the process. Be sure to download our guide with 10 Steps to Increase Efficiency and Accuracy During Open Enrollment. They can help you get more organized and proactive, resulting in a smooth renewal process that uses proven methods to improve the efficiency of your renewal process. Contact Eureka Insurance Solutions at 916-742-7842.