Each year, open enrollment provides employers with a captive audience to promote benefits and educate the workforce about them. Given the circumstances created by COVID-19, we think your messages this year should be focused and simple. Consider these:
1. Here’s a review of the changes to your 2021 benefits – Some employers will likely need to make changes to employee contributions or benefits to keep the program affordable and valuable. There could be benefit reductions, increased costs, and new features to help manage costs. Be up front about what’s changing and why.
2. Our medical plan provides valuable coverage…even if you get COVID-19 – Reinforce how expenses related to treating the virus will be covered. You might reiterate time off and leave benefits in the context of the pandemic as well.
3. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a great benefit – Highlight the free, confidential services for managing heightened stress and uncertainty brought on by the world we are now living in. Include tips for parents, ideas on managing social isolation, and links to tools and remote resources for emotional support.
4. Telehealth gives you access to care for basic illnesses and injuries from the safety of your own home – Explain this alternative to face-to-face visits. Focus on your plan options, associated fees, and how to prepare for a virtual appointment. Be sure to note that these providers can prescribe medications, too.
5. Your Wellness is still important – Maintaining overall physical health is more important than ever. We want people to continue managing their chronic medical conditions with doctor check-ins, maintenance medications, and the same protocols they followed before the pandemic. For more tips on conducting open enrollment during a pandemic, we find this 9-minute read helpful: Planning 2021 Benefits Changes for the COVID-19 Era