In the Long Run: What Comes After Open Enrollment?

December 7, 2023


Think of implementing your organization’s employee benefits program as leading a marathon team. First, you prepare through regular training sessions, aided by internal communications in the weeks and months leading up to Open Enrollment. Next comes the grind of Open Enrollment itself — the equivalent of a marathoner’s high-mileage training runs. And then, the payoff: benefits utilization. 

With Open Enrollment fast approaching, most of your prep work should be behind you. If all goes as planned, the enrollment period, though challenging, should run fairly smoothly. But what about the ultimate long run — the marathon of putting your organization’s benefits program to work? Are you and your team prepared for that? 

Business leaders, HR professionals and team members responsible for employee communications are invited to join Alera Group on Thursday, October 19, for the next event in our Engage series of employee benefits webinars, "The Three E’s of Open Enrollment: Engage, Educate and Empower."  

From 1-2 p.m. CT, we’ll provide guidance on enabling your organization and its employees to realize the full value of your benefits program and make your team’s marathon a success. There won’t be any finishers’ medals, but you will come away a better understanding of how to: 

  • Enhance employee experience by being prepared for what comes after Open Enrollment is complete; 
  • Use proven techniques for keeping employees engaged in their benefits year-round; 
  • Give team members the resources they need to utilize their benefits whenever the need arises.  

Ease of Access and Understanding 

Employees may not remember all the information you provide leading up to and during Open Enrollment, but they should remember where to find it — provided you have the resources in place to serve team members of varying information-gathering preferences. (Regardless of age or occupation, not everyone runs with the same gait or at the same pace.) 

For example, printed material may be preferable for some employees, while those who rely heavily on a mobile device may prefer an app as the primary source of their benefits information. According to a recent Benefits Pro article on the 2022-2023 Aflac WorkForces Report, however, while 82% of employees say it’s very or extremely important to manage their benefits online one-third of employers don’t offer online enrollment or benefits management. 

Either way, employees should have at their disposal ready-made packages available for whatever benefit they need, be it mental health counseling, treatment of a critical illness, family leave or distribution of Life Insurance payments. 

We’ll discuss such packages and much more during the October 19 webinar, which I’ll moderate, with my Alera Group teammates Rhonda Brown, Strategic Account Executive in our Tulsa, OK, office, and David Cagliola, President of Employee Benefits in our Berwyn, PA, location. 

Registration and Additional Resources 

In the meantime, if you’re not where you’d like to be in your preparations for Open Enrollment, you may want to view two earlier Engage webinars: Streamlining Open Enrollment and 4 Practices That Can Make or Break Your Enrollment Communications. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is also a good source of guidance, including the August 2023 primer “How to Have a Successful Open Enrollment.”  

And if you’d like to give your team an added, free benefit, invite them to view all or part of Alera Group’s recent 2023 Employee Wellbeing Fair, a recorded series of eight sessions on topics ranging from nutrition to how community culture affects longevity, from mindfulness to teaching children executive functioning skills, from personal finances to stress relief and more.  

To ensure your organization’s employees get the most of the benefits program for which they’ll soon enroll, sign yourself up for "The Three E’s of Open Enrollment." You can access the brief registration form by clicking the link below. 


About the Author

Jennifer Bundy-Cobb, CEBS 
Managing Partner, Tacoma, WA, and Anchorage, AK locations 
Alera Group 

Since joining Wilson Albers, an Alera Group Company, in 1995, Jennifer Bundy-Cobb has served in various roles, including Director of Employee Benefits, before her ascension to Managing Partner in 2022. A Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, she has served as the President of the Board for the Alaska Association of Health Underwriters and has been active in supporting healthcare reform causes. 

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