The benefit enrollment period is a lot of work for HR professionals and can be a confusing process for employees. For instance, if you have 500 employees and offer 10 benefit plans with several documents related to each plan, you may be sifting through as many as 20,000 documents during open enrollment. Technology-based enrollment cuts through the paperwork, making the process more efficient and user-friendly.

Online enrollment can make the open enrollment process more efficient and user-friendly for both your HR department and your employees.

Benefits of online enrollment

  • Every step of the benefits management process is automated, eliminating the need for paper-based processes and improving efficiency and accuracy.
  • An online system eliminates the costs of distributing and collecting paper enrollment packets, and shortens the enrollment cycle.
  • Online enrollment enables employees to self-enroll in benefit programs, review their benefit data and report life event changes.
  • Employees can choose plans based on eligibility criteria and can compare costs and coverage of previous elections against new offerings.
  • Elections can be automatically applied to employee records.
  • Employees receive written confirmations detailing their elections.
  • Employees can easily view and update their records and plans.
  • HR can check the status of enrollment in real time and may be able to generate detailed reports regarding the cost of employee benefits.

Making online enrollment work for you

While the benefits of online enrollment are many, some employees may be intimidated by the software or prefer working with a person instead of making their selections via a computer. Others may not make informed benefit decisions if they are only advised via the computer and are not provided personalized recommendations.

Try these tips to make online enrollment work for you:

  • Introduce enrollment software and train employees before open enrollment begins. Make sure all employees are comfortable with the software and that someone is available to answer additional questions and provide further help.
  • Use various communication mediums to prepare employees for the open enrollment process, leveraging internal resources like your company’s intranet, bulletin board postings or your newsletter.
  • Encourage management to promote the use of online enrollment to increase employee buy-in.
  • Establish online communities or blogs where employees can discuss successes and problems they are having while enrolling. That way, they can assist one another with the process and HR can quickly address any common problems.