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Alleviating Client Stress (and Streamlining Their Success) During Open Enrollment

PEO partner can create an efficient and successful experience for them and their employees during open enrollment.

Quick look: Open enrollment often feels stressful for SMBs, but it doesn’t have to be. To help clients maximize their benefits and feel confident in their choices, making the connection to a PEO partner can simplify and streamline the entire process.

For many employers and their employees, the time for open enrollment comes and goes in the blink of an eye. 37% of employees wish they had more time to make the right choice, and 60% of those who regretted last year’s benefit choices said it was due to a lack of information and understanding.

As brokers seek to provide the best possible solutions for their clients, a professional employer organization (PEO) helps to alleviate the stress associated with open enrollment, allowing employees to make less rushed and more informed decisions.

However, open enrollment doesn’t come without its challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones small- and medium-sized business (SMB) leaders face and how a PEO partner can create an efficient and successful experience for them and their employees.

Complexity of benefits administration

Breaking down the complexities of benefit plans can feel overwhelming for many SMBs. Every plan has different co-payments, deductibles, and limitations. Though having a range of choices is appreciated, employees often struggle with comparing coverage and costs when deciding what serves them best.

Additionally, finding the time to attend open enrollment meetings is taxing for busy employees and can lead to last-minute (and potentially, unsatisfactory) decisions. As part of a full HR solution, a PEO partner offers benefits consulting to answer employer questions about the best products and plans currently available.

Furthermore, PEOs can offer multiple informational sessions tailored to a diverse and dispersed workforce. Having the option of virtual, in-person, group, and one-to-one meetings gives employees what they need at a time and place where they can focus on plan details without being distracted.

Cost and time management challenges

One of the top benefits of working with a PEO partner is the ability to offer competitive health benefits with large group purchasing power. Therefore, SMB clients have access to Fortune 500-level benefits at an affordable cost.

A PEO also simplifies benefit administration and creates an efficient enrollment process through the use of advanced HR technology. Implementing a mobile-friendly platform makes it easier for employees to review, select, and manage their chosen benefits online, at a time convenient to them.

Lack of employee education and communication

A PEO partner also offers ongoing information employees need to make the best possible decisions, such as educational materials, online resources, and benefit plan communication regarding changes and updates.

PEOs also work collaboratively with brokers and their SMB clients to determine which methods of communication are most impactful. Implementing education and communication across multiple channels helps to ensure all employees receive the information they need in a manner which makes the most sense for them.

Furthermore, a dedicated support team provides one-to-one assistance for individual benefit-related questions and issues during the annual open enrollment period, as well as for those who have been newly onboarded.

Navigating compliance and current benefit trends

Laws and regulations are constantly changing, and employers are responsible for maintaining compliance at all times. A PEO partner has the experience and expertise to track and implement what’s legally required, in addition to the benefit trends attracting and retaining the best talent.

For instance, employees expect the option of standard healthcare. However, expanding and diversifying offerings serves as an advantage. More robust, attractive options may include mental health care coverage, financial wellness programs, short-term disability, and other supplemental benefits which meet the evolving demands of today’s workers.

Simplifying open enrollment with ExtensisHR

ExtensisHR’s people-first approach delivers an extra level of comfort and assurance as SMBs and their employees head into open enrollment. Here are other ways broker clients benefit from their PEO presence:

Customized benefit plans

With five generations making up the modern workforce, benefit customization is a must, as not all employees will prioritize the same benefits.

Rather than applying a catch-all solution like big-box PEOs, ExtensisHR tailors benefit plans with the best providers and competitive pricing in mind. This level of personalization empowers employees to choose a plan based on their current needs and offers flexibility to change as new life events unfold.

Committed HR support

ExtensisHR has a customer service model which designates a dedicated HR manager and a team of HR experts to address each SMB client’s unique needs. They are well-versed in what’s popular in the industry while having familiarity with a SMB’s specific employee needs and budget.

Additionally, employees can expect quick responses from our Employee Solution Center. With an average, 11-second personalized response time and a 97% same-day resolution rate, SMBs and their employees can have peace of mind they are being prioritized.

Mobile-friendly HR platform

ExtensisHR’s Work Anywhere® mobile app allows employees autonomy to easily review plan details and make changes to their benefits. They can also access ExtensisHR’s full suite of employee benefit providers to find participating plan physicians, specialists, hospitals, and medical centers. Work Anywhere® also integrates with HealthEquity and Aetna, eliminating the need for multiple logins.

Compliance monitoring

As part of a comprehensive PEO solution, compliance monitoring ensures updates to products and regulations are proactively communicated to SMB clients. This helps to alleviate stress in keeping up with changes to the law so employers can confidently move forward.

ExtensisHR manages all aspects of open enrollment so SMBs stay informed and have the time, resources, and understanding they need to make the best possible benefit decisions.

As a broker-friendly PEO partner, we are here to streamline the experience for your clients and set them up for success. Contact ExtensisHR today to learn more about how our all-inclusive services can expand your offerings and differentiate yourself from the competition.

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