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Blue @ Work

Preparing for open enrollment in a hybrid world

Tips for virtual benefit communication.

This article was last updated Oct. 18, 2022

Many businesses saw the benefits of working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of that, the way we work together has permanently evolved. Businesses are more open to hybrid work than ever before, with 74 percent of companies External Site already using or moving to a hybrid work model. If your workplace is interested in changing, the way you communicate about open enrollment should change, too.

If you're used to holding in-person events to help employees understand their plan options and make open enrollment decisions, you may find it even more effective to hold one of these events virtually External Site.

5 tips for creating a successful virtual benefits fair

It's not just you. Your employees will immediately notice the benefits of a virtual event, too. Instead of carving out a short time in their day to gather information and ask questions, they can watch pre-recorded webinars on their own time, download the materials they really need (psst, use the ones we rounded up for you below) and schedule one-on-one sessions with benefits advisors to answer their questions. A virtual benefits fair is the beginning of a more personalized learning experience.

Virtual fairs also save significant amounts of time and expense for you, eliminating the need for travel, set-up and tear-down of booths and producing single-use banners and other printed materials. We've rounded up a few tips for creating your most successful virtual open enrollment fair yet.

  1. Download materials from the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit.

    If you ever find yourself struggling to communicate important information to your employees, look no further than the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit. The Wellmark Marketing Toolkit gives you access to hundreds of marketing materials to help get health plan conversations started in your workplace.

    The Marketing Toolkit is your go-to resource for open enrollment.

    Our comprehensive suite of materials features everything from benefit basics to large group and small group product information to download, print and share with your employees during open enrollment. Consider these to start:

    • CDHC, HDHP, HSA: It’s like alphabet soup! (M-20565)
    • Your go-to guide to choosing a PCP (M-2020980)

  2. Leverage your Wellmark account representative.

    As a Wellmark customer, you have a dedicated account representative who will serve as an extension to your workforce. They will be there every step of the way during your open enrollment process to help answer questions, discuss various product offerings and determine the best solutions based on your employee data. Give your account representative a call today to discuss open enrollment.

  3. myWellmark and open enrollment are the perfect pair.

    No matter how much assistance you may offer during open enrollment, or the quality of materials — unfortunately confusion that leads to dissatisfaction can still happen. And, it’s likely due to an employee selecting an option that’s simply not right for them, being unaware of how to maximize their current plan’s value, or they don’t know how to look at past usage to properly plan for their future.

    With myWellmark, your employees can maximize their plan by doing an inventory of the care they (and their dependents) have received. This can answer questions and help your employees determine if they should be in a health maintenance organization (HMO), preferred provider organization (PPO), or high-deductible health plan (HDHP).

  4. BlueSM online.

    Did you know we have a free, online content platform designed for your employees to enjoy inspirational and informative stories about healthy living, understanding health insurance and more? Not to mention, if they subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter Opens in a new window, they don’t even have to do the digging — we’ll send your employees timely and relevant content straight to their inbox.

    You can use the content, too! Whether you plug and play in an email, intranet article, or newsletter to your employee population, Blue online has something for everyone. Get started with these articles:

    • 10 minutes to understanding insurance terms Opens in a new window

      Encourage your employees to not wait until they need their health insurance to really understand it. When your employees know the various terms and costs associated, they can save money in the long run.

    • What’s in a network?

      Share this article with your employees to break down common network types and determine what plan will work best with them.

    • Decoding health insurance jargon

      Here's one thing we can all agree on — health insurance is confusing. Help your employee's boil down what a CDHC, HDHP, FSA, HMO, PPO and HSA even mean.

    • Common misconceptions about the HMO network Opens in a new window

      Do your employees see an HMO network as not being able to get the care they need, or be able to make an appointment with a provider they want to see, or be covered out of state? We break down the common misconceptions and myths surrounding an HMO plan.

    And, there’s even more to share when you visit Blue online and explore the Know your Coverage Opens in a new window and Plan Smart pages. There is something for each of your employees to learn, discover and apply to their unique situations.

  5. Last but not least — offer one-on-one assistance

    The downside to virtual benefits communication is managing all the inevitable questions that will come up. At an in-person fair, employees can ask questions on the spot, as they come up. If you’re communicating your benefits information virtually, ensure you have a few people dedicated to answering questions via email, phone, or live chat during set hours.

Need printed materials after all? No problem.

Simply order or download all of your print-ready materials from the Marketing Toolkit Secure Site, and be sure to plan enough time to get everything delivered at least a couple weeks ahead of open enrollment.

Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark account representative, or email us at Send Email today!