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7 Steps to Successfully Prepare for Open Enrollment 2023

7 Steps to Successfully Prepare for Open Enrollment 2023

Open enrollment is rapidly approaching for many employers. Here are seven key steps to help you prepare for your company’s open enrollment window.

What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is the period of time when employees are able to enroll in employer-sponsored plans or update their current benefit elections. In many states, the open enrollment period begins on November 1st and runs through January, but there are a handful of states that start the process earlier and end later, so make sure to check your state’s requirements.

To be clear, open enrollment is the only time when employees are permitted to adjust or update benefits such as healthcare coverage or voluntary life insurance outside of a qualifying event like the birth of a child. In such cases, a special enrollment period (SEP) will allow employees to make those necessary updates.


7 Steps to Prepare for 2023 Open Enrollment

Every year HR professionals are faced with challenges that occur in the workplace. In 2020 organizations were forced to endure the coronavirus pandemic, and nearly three years later, HR professionals are dealing with employee retention, inflation, and the possibility of a recession.

Now more than ever employers need to prepare themselves as they head into the 2023 open enrollment season. Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Develop a Strategic Plan: Planning ahead can help ensure a smooth open enrollment, happier clients, and a more relaxing holiday season. When creating your plan, BerniePortal’s Open Enrollment Guide can help you become more familiar with the details that go hand-in-hand with open enrollment to ensure you’re up to speed and ready to hit the ground running when November arrives.
  2. Communicate Early (and Often): Set a few communication-based goals heading into open enrollment. The sooner you reach out to staff with information about open enrollment and benefits administration—including when the process begins and how it works—the better chance you have at improving employee engagement and readiness. 
  3. Ask Your Broker Questions: Is your broker right for your organization? This is especially important as inflation continues to increase the cost of medical care. Use this list of 10 questions to learn more about the process of open enrollment and how prepared your current broker is for benefits administration. 
  4. Prepare to Answer Questions: Employees will look to you and your broker to answer important benefits questions. Review 10 common open enrollment questions to prepare accordingly. Consider preparing an FAQ document that you could distribute to employees in your initial communications regarding enrollment.
  5. Go Online: During the pandemic, many organizations shifted their open enrollment process online and others have made the change simply because it’s easier to keep track of information and it’s more cost-effective. In fact, adopting an HRIS like BerniePortal can save time, reduce errors, expand offerings, and increase employee satisfaction. 
  6. Consider New Benefits: If you’re looking to boost recruitment and retention within your organization, then consider offering stellar employee benefits that have proven to be a great tool in the workforce. Try including these six popular benefits in your 2023 package.
  7. Build on Your Culture: Is your benefits package reflective of your company’s culture? Use an HRIS to build and sustain organizational culture by selecting benefits that demonstrate your organization’s values and vision.


How Else Can You Prepare?

In addition to the 7 steps outlined above, consider taking a comprehensive digital education course. BernieU’s The Ultimate Guide to Benefits Administration and Open Enrollment teaches everything HR pros need to know about open enrollment, from how the process works to digital software solutions and how benefits administration can boost retention and recruitment. The program is free to access and has been approved for SHRM and HRCI certification.


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics
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