Guide to Open Enrollment Success

Plan for your employees’ success when it comes to their health coverage. This guide helps you navigate open enrollment with ease to better prepare your employees for the process.

Communicate Early

Send out communications for open enrollment information, resources, and education as soon as you can. It is never too early to give employees a heads-up. This allows your employees to have plenty of time to understand open enrollment, ask questions, and make changes to their plans if needed. However, before sending the first communication, you want to ensure that you will not be relaying conflicting information. Have everything you need for open enrollment sorted before communication with employees begins. As you craft your messages, keep in mind that employees vary when it comes to what communication styles they are receptive to. So, you want to provide them with information in multiple ways. This could include:

  • Hosting meetings and Q&A sessions
  • Providing infographics and bulletin board messaging
  • Sending emails or text messages
  • Providing take-home flyers or info packets

Establish Clear Timelines

Set forth clear timelines from the very first point of contact. Ensure that your company has chosen an appropriate window of time for your employees to make their selections. In general, most companies allow employees two to four weeks for their enrollment period. Communicate these timelines clearly and often.

open enrollment timeline

Encourage Questions

Open enrollment can be confusing for everyone involved, but your team should be there to help. Encourage employees to speak up during meetings, engage in open conversations, and have team leaders be receptive to questions. While you can have a large meeting that hosts every employee, it is more effective for employees to voice their concerns if they are in a smaller meeting. Consider having meetings for open enrollment, or Q&A sessions.

Pro Tip: Easily ask employees if they have any questions on the backstitch platform by using the Feedback Tracker.

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Provide Education

Communication is not enough. You also want to educate to provide your company the best results. Employees should understand the choices that they are making. Teach employees the important terms that they need to know, as well as how their choices may affect their healthcare plans.

Pro Tip: Send a lead-out email to your employees that contains definitions to terminology they may not be familiar with, as well as links with helpful resources.

Walk Through Multiple Scenarios

Healthcare plans are sometimes difficult to conceptualize. Creating a “sample” employee, with certain health concerns, allows employees to visualize how their benefits would work. Walk through different scenarios, showing where to find care and what to do for varying situations.


Be on Their Team

Keep in mind that many employees may be confused by the open enrollment process. This can even vary year to year, as new hires come into the mix. You may want to consider offering one-on-one support to employees to help them with the process, providing them answers in real-time.

To ensure that employees are receiving accurate information and consistent communication, HR teams need to take the lead when it comes to the open enrollment process.