Brokers: 2 Ways to Prep Cost-Conscious Clients for Open Enrollment
by Caroline Boyland June 8, 2022
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Benefits Brokers to the Rescue
Though the labor market seems to be relatively healthy, many economists are concerned about the near-future state of the economy, and many are beginning to utter something none of us want to hear…an impending [whispers] recession.
One of the factors contributing to this predicted outcome? Inflation rates. Data indicates that over the past 75 years, each time that inflation has increased beyond 4%, and unemployment rates sank below 5%, a recession hit within 2 years. With inflation nearing 8% in the U.S., and a 3.6% unemployment rate, the unnerving truth is that 2023 can potentially bring with it a recession. With companies beginning to prepare for open enrollment season, how can brokers guide cost-conscious clients for a season where employers and employees alike are going to be striving to save on costs?
2 Ways to Drive Savings During Open Enrollment
Drive Employee Savings: Encourage Employee Education With the economic forecast, it’s no surprise that employees are looking for ways to save on costs where they can. As a broker, you can play a major role in this cost savings by encouraging clients to emphasize to their employees that proper usage of their benefits is one of the best ways to save on healthcare and other costs. But this is easier said than done, it’s one thing for employers to want their employees to better leverage their benefit options, but another for employers to be the ones to make that happen. Cost-conscious employers need to put a focus on employee education—it’s the only way to ensure that employees are choosing the right plans, getting the most out of those plans, and are saving on health costs by receiving in-network care.
Recent research found that 63% of employees are unconfident when choosing benefits, and 75% of employees are being educated on plans via “written materials outlining plans.”
The takeaway: As a broker, encourage your clients to find new ways to educate employees on their benefits. It’s clear that with the majority unconfident in choosing plans, the current methods of benefits education simply will no longer cut it. Written materials outlining plans can be a good supplementary component, but should not be the only method of benefits education.
Drive Employer Savings: Empower HR to Do More With Less Do more with less: a lofty goal desired by just about every team at every organization. Getting more accomplished with less resources (read: less funds, less employees, less time, etc.) is the true key to cost-savings for employers. As a broker, you can guide your clients to new tools and technology that can actually empower them to offload administrative tasks that typically take up much of their time. During open enrollment, there’s never enough time in the day. Providing your clients with a way to save much of that very precious time so that they can get more done will make you the hero of any HR team’s open enrollment story.
Research shows that almost half of all HR leaders are spending 40% or more of their time during open enrollment educating employees and answering benefits questions during open enrollment. If open enrollment is 3 weeks, and HR employees are working 40 hour weeks, that means that HR leaders are spending at least 48 hours on benefits education during open enrollment. What if you could help them get all of that time back?
The takeaway: When prepping your cost-conscious clients for open enrollment, don’t hesitate to present new technology that can offload time consuming tasks like benefits education and q&a. Open enrollment during potential recession shudders will pose entirely new challenges, and it’s going to take an entirely new set of tools to be successful.
The Tech That Can Help
Now that we’ve nailed down two ways you can encourage your clients to drive cost savings for both their employees and their business, we can look at the how. Encouraging your clients to better educate employees and to find a way to do more with less sounds like a great plan, but a tricky one if not equipped with the proper tools.
A tool like Nayya can be just what they’re looking for. Nayya streamlines and personalizes employee education, which:
- Offers employees guided, customized education based on their personal health and financial needs and goals. Providing the best possible benefits education to each unique employee. This means that from the smallest mom-and-pop business, to the largest organization in the country, each unique employee will receive their own unique education. This empowers employees to best understand the right plans for themselves and their families—enabling them to save on costs when they need it more.
- Decreases administrative burden. With Nayya, those hours that HR spends educating employees and answering questions during open enrollment are literally handed right back to the HR team. Nayya provides employees with personalized recommendations for each benefit that their business offers, ensuring that employees are well versed in the benefits offering and are confident in which plans are right for them.
Nayya’s step-by-step survey walks employees through the enrollment process. The easy to use, streamlined interface ensures that the enrollment process doesn't become overwhelming—in less than 7 minutes, the tool provides individuals with the benefits education that they need.
For each employee, Nayya bundles the personalized recommended benefits into an easy to digest plan. Then, the tool provides an estimate of the annual cost savings that this plan offers. It’s easy to imagine the peace that this process brings to individuals who are worried about overspending or making the decisions about their benefits.
In addition, Nayya also provides a way for employees to understand and visualize their contributions to HSAs and 401(k) accounts. This empowers employees to predict how they can grow their investments more effectively.
“When we just put a benefit on a platform, we only see 8% participation. But if we put a product on a platform, position it right after the major medical (because a lot of times it’s covering a gap left by the major medical), make it an active enrollment where employees go on and accept or decline and learn about the product, and then we embed a decision support tool that’s really educating and communicating the benefit to the employees, we’re seeing closer to 35-40% participation.” Learn how Shawn Ferguson and his team at Acrisure are improving the benefits experience with Nayya.
If you’re ready to learn more about Nayya, see the tool in action.
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