This article was last updated Oct. 18, 2022
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, agents, 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 employees feel about open enrollment?
Opinions about the open enrollment experience vary significantly based on many factors — employer or agent actions, past experiences with open enrollment, personal circumstances, interest or willingness to engage in the process and unique personalities — and dictate how much time and effort is spent making selections.
The feedback was evenly split across favorable, neutral and unfavorable opinions. While some employees 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, employees need clarity and preparation to feel confident when making decisions during open enrollment. 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 consistent language throughout your open enrollment materials and overview sessions.
- Ensure all information is presented in a way that makes it clear what's covered and what's not. Make information easy 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, about plans from the previous year 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 to their plan are key to providing clarity. Send an automatic confirmation of benefits via email after the employee has made their elections to help promote confidence in their 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 benefits elections 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.
- Encourage employees to register for or visit myWellmark® opens in new window. A great way for your employees to use myWellmark to prepare for open enrollment is doing an inventory of the care they and their dependents have received. The spend report on myWellmark — found in the Claims section — shows how much employees spent on health insurance during the plan year and can help them determine their optimal deductible or if they are in the right health insurance network.
- Employees need to feel confident that they have selected the best plan so, if possible, have experts readily available on-site or virtually to offer guidance and answer questions — even if that expert is you!
- Reference ready-to-use resources in the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit Secure Site.
Help employees save time and money
Use the "Six tips to save time and money" flyer (M-20567) in the Marketing Toolkit to educate members on how to get the most out of their health plan.
Bring your open enrollment materials to life
It's important to communicate in a way that helps employees understand their coverage and make good decisions. Maybe you want your employees to know the value of their benefits and know you care. 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 communication opportunities and then create campaigns that generate employee understanding and engagement like never before.
After you view samples of Indigo’s work, you can email them directly email@example.com Send Email. Or, reach out to your authorized Wellmark account representative to get the conversation started.