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Supporting HR Excellence: Open Enrollment FAQs

by Nayya Marketing October 10, 2023

Throughout the year, HR teams receive a plethora of questions, but without a doubt, the weeks surrounding open enrollment have a drastic influx of questions. "When is the 2023 open enrollment (OE) deadline?," "Will there be changes to the offered health plans?," "How much can I contribute to my HSA?"

As a trusted advisor, employee benefits brokers and consultants are often the go-to people for HR teams when it comes to sourcing new strategies to optimize processes and plans surrounding benefits. We’ve compiled a concise list of active and passive open enrollment FAQs to equip you with handy resources that will lighten the HR teams’ load. Don’t forget to grab a comprehensive and printable FAQ file, available to download at the end of this blog post.

Active Open Enrollment FAQs

Let's go over some active enrollment FAQs that HR teams can expect during the open enrollment period.

Can I Make Changes to my health insurance outside of OE? In general, changes to health insurance can only be made during the open enrollment period. However, qualifying life events like having a baby, getting married, or losing other health coverage may qualify an employee for a special enrollment outside of the regular OE period.

What Is a Qualifying Event? A qualifying event is an event that allows individuals to make changes to their health insurance outside of the open enrollment window. Under these circumstances, an individual qualifies to buy or make changes to their health plan outside of the open enrollment window. Examples of qualifying events include marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, loss of other coverage, or permanent relocation to an area where different health plans are available.

What if I miss the enrollment period? If an employee misses an enrollment period, they won't be able to enroll or make changes until the next annual OE — unless they experience a qualifying life event that allows them to make benefits changes under IRS rules.

Passive Open Enrollment FAQs

For those groups who opt for passive open enrollment, here are some relevant FAQs HR teams can expect during this open enrollment period.

What actions do I need to take to keep my current benefits? If an employee is satisfied with their current benefits and doesn't want to make any changes, no action is needed on their part. Their existing selections will remain in place.

Can I change my benefits during OE if I want something different for the upcoming year? Employees are encouraged to review their benefits plan from time to time to learn about new offerings and changes to existing benefits or costs for the upcoming year. If employees want something different for the upcoming year, they can make changes to their existing benefits during open enrollment. The employer's designated benefits administration platform should guide them through the process.

Are there changes to benefits offerings or costs for the upcoming year? While passive enrollment means employees are automatically re-enrolled in benefits based on selections they made in the past, it's essential to check for updates to benefits offering for the upcoming year.

For a comprehensive list of FAQs, download our customizable templates that you can provide to groups as a ready-to-use resource for their employees.

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