The Wellmark Member Experience Research team conducted a study to gain a better understanding of our member experiences with employer group shopping and enrollment. The team gained insight from members, producers, human resources administrators and internal Wellmark stakeholders to create a holistic picture of pain points and opportunities as employees shop, join or renew their health insurance coverage during open enrollment.
How do your employees view open enrollment?
Opinions about the open enrollment experience vary significantly based on several factors — employer or producer actions, past experiences with open enrollment, personal circumstances, interest or willingness to engage in the process and unique personalities — that dictate how much time and effort is spent making selections.
As one could assume, the feedback received was evenly split across favorable, neutral and unfavorable opinions. While some members feel very confident in their understanding of the plans and benefits, others have a passively neutral perspective and several feel some sense of uncertainty, viewing open enrollment as a complicated exercise.
How you can keep open enrollment from feeling like a roll of the dice
According to the responses received, employees need clarity and a bit of preparation to feel confident when making their open enrollment decisions. So, how can you help?
Provide clarity about health plans
Employees need to clearly understand health insurance opens in new window, plan options, what has changed from the previous year and how the plan options support their personal situations.
- Use simple, clear terms and language in your communications by including easy-to-understand definitions and using consistent language throughout the open enrollment materials and overview sessions.
- Ensure all information is presented in a way that makes it clear about what's covered and what's not. Make information easily available to reference on an internal web page or highly visible spot in the office.
- Give your employees several opportunities to hear about the election process and answer any questions they have. Be sure to spell out what has changed, if anything, within the plans from the previous years so they can identify if adjustments in their selection are necessary.
- Most importantly, step-by-step instructions on when and how to enroll and make adjustments are key to providing clarity. Send an automatic confirmation of enrollment selection to help promote confidence in your employees' decisions.
Prepare employees to pick a plan
Your employees can't forecast every possible need they will have in the coming year, which can make enrollment selection feel like guesswork.
- Help your employees identify a plan that best meets their needs by offering tools and relatable scenarios to help them anticipate care needs, determine accurate cost estimates, and plan financial resources.
- Employees need to feel confident that they have selected the best plan for them, so have experts readily available onsite or virtually to offer guidance and answer questions.
- Ensure employees have 24/7 access to tools and resources, coverage information and claims status by visiting myWellmark® opens in new window.
- Reference ready-to-use resources in the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit Secure Site. Log in* and use the material IDs to search these materials:
- Health Plan Compare Tool flyer (M-21118)
- Choose the coverage with the right fit flyer (M-2021298)
- Six tips to save time and money flyer (M-20567)
*Note: If you are not immediately redirected to the Toolkit after logging in, return to this page and click the link again.
How can Wellmark help you implement these opportunities?
You want to communicate more to help employees understand their coverage and make good decisions. You want them to know the value of their benefits. You want them to know you care. And, you want the time and the resources to do it all. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield hears you, and we can help — with Indigo opens in new window.
Indigo is a team of Wellmark benefits communication specialists dedicated to delivering custom solutions to our largest self-funded groups. We collaborate with you to identify your pain points, and then create communication campaigns that generate employee understanding and engagement like never before.
Note: If you are not immediately redirected to the Toolkit after logging in, return to this page and click the link again.
Ready to get started?
Indigo’s ready to help. You can securely view samples of Indigo’s work here opens in new window, and then email Indigo directly firstname.lastname@example.org Send Email. Or, you can reach out to your authorized Wellmark account representative to get the conversation started.