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Posted July 23, 2020

Support for virtual open enrollment

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Your feedback fuels our decision-making. It guides the development of our innovative solutions. And it informs our knowledgeable experts who help us stand out as customer service leaders. WEX’s survey of clients, partners and consultants about upcoming open enrollment (OE) is a recent example of the many ways we communicate with these audiences. Keep reading this blog post to find out what we learned and what it means for open enrollments hosted against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For many, open enrollment planning has already begun 

There are a variety of open enrollment strategies out there. And our survey results revealed that those strategies are developed at a variety of different times during the plan year.

  • 40 percent of those surveyed said they start discussing/reviewing their open enrollment strategy two months prior to the start of OE. 
  • 35 percent said they start discussing/reviewing strategy four months prior. 
  • 21 percent said they start discussing/reviewing strategy six months prior. 

Since most open enrollments take place in the final months of the calendar year, that means over half of you are about to begin developing your strategy or are already doing so. 

Your needs depend on who you are

We asked all of our audiences what type of OE resources were most impactful. Each audience has its own audiences to serve, so their answers were very different.

  • Among partners, the most impactful resources were direct mail, support to customize open enrollment materials, and distribution/fulfillment support. 
  • For consultants, live webinars and on-demand webinars rated as the most impactful resources.
  • Employers said that in-person fairs/meetings and dedicated phone, email and chat options had the greatest impact. 

Virtual in 2020 and beyond? 

The results indicated that many of you plan to host some sort of a virtual element to your OE this year. That’s not a surprise, as many businesses continue to have some or all employees working from home due to the pandemic. What’s really interesting is that many of you feel your open enrollment experience may stay virtual, even after social distancing isn’t as big of a priority. Nearly half of all employers feel their open enrollment will be provided virtually even after social distancing rules are no longer needed. Another 45 percent said they were unsure. 

We have a number of virtual-friendly resources to support your OE, including: 

  • Informative handouts, email templates and more. 
  • Educational videos on popular plans.
  • Ability to provide you with a virtual open enrollment fair for your employees to attend.

If you’re one of our partners, check out Partner Central to get started!

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