by WEX Benefits
Benefits decision-making can be a daunting task for employees during open enrollment. And the current inflation rate makes these decisions even more important. With open enrollment right around the corner for most employees, here are the top benefits administration trends you should keep in mind as you prepare for benefits enrollment 2023.
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Should inflation change how you approach open enrollment?
Since high inflation is causing employees to be more cost conscious right now, many employers hope this year is an opportunity to increase employee engagement during the open enrollment period. Employees who usually choose the same benefits each year without considering other options might now take the time to learn about other benefits plans and figure out if a different plan might make more sense for them.
For example, employees previously enrolled in a PPO (or traditional) plan might be interested in enrolling in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) instead and saving for future unexpected expenses by contributing to a health savings account (HSA). Now is the time to educate your employees on your benefits offerings and stress the importance of choosing a plan that can help them navigate inflation.
The do’s and don’ts of open enrollment
Whether you’re handling the open enrollment process in-house or working with a benefits administration partner, now is the time to lock down any final plan changes and annual enrollment dates. And employee communication before, during, and after open enrollment is key, especially if there are any changes to your benefits offerings or open enrollment process.
Be intentional with your open enrollment window, and don’t assume giving your employees more time to enroll will be beneficial. We suggest giving employees two weeks to enroll, since offering more time can lead to procrastination. And don’t go into open enrollment without a contingency plan for employees who miss the enrollment deadline. Thinking through the open enrollment process operationally will prepare you for any upcoming hiccups during the open enrollment season.
Trends we’re seeing this open enrollment period
- Decision support tools: Decision support tools are a great way to engage employees and provide them with the tools they need to evaluate their different benefits offerings. These educational tools enable employees to enter indicative data about how they use their benefits and get a true comparison about different plans.
- Lifestyle savings accounts (LSAs): Lifestyle spending accounts have grown in popularity over the last few years, with many employers offering LSAs as a way to enrich their benefits package and attract and retain talent. Employees can use LSAs for eligible expenses such as fitness memberships, student loan reimbursement, and non-medical counseling.
- Voluntary benefits: Voluntary benefits such as supplemental life insurance, critical illness, and pet insurance have become the norm for employers to offer. Voluntary benefits give employees the opportunity to further customize their benefits package to meet their personal needs.
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The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel.
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