Your benefits are a powerful recruitment tool and one of the top expenses to an organization. Helping employees glean the most they can from the benefits package through education and communication is one of the top things you can do as an employer as you get ready for open enrollment.
Since open enrollment only happens once a year, it can be hard to remember all the little details. With the whirlwind of viewing different plans and rates and trying to juggle the budget versus the premium increases, it can feel a little overwhelming. Like most things in business, the better you can communicate, the better the outcome.
Here are some of the top areas to remember as you are getting ready for your 2023 benefits packages.
1. Are your plans affordable? With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers that are 50+ employees and are an applicable large employer (ALE), must ensure that the lowest cost plan that is offered meets the ACA affordability. There are three safe harbors that are used when determining affordability. The easiest one is the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL)Safe Harbor. For 2023 the employee contributions can not exceed 9.12% of the FPL which equates to $103.28 per month. If your employee is paying less than that each month for the lowest-cost plan, you are all set. The other two, Rate of Pay and W2 Safe Harbor, have a little more math involved but may allow you to charge a higher rate and still meet affordability.
2. Remind employees of the importance of this time. Often employees are told open enrollment is the time to add or remove dependents, but they may misunderstand that this is the time to pick a new medical plan if you offer more than one option. Employees may not know that they can move plans as well as change dependents on coverage. Make sure your open enrollment clearly outlines those options for the employee.
3. Don’t forget if you have COBRA-enrolled individuals that they need communication too! A company can find itself in hot water if they make a carrier change but misses gathering the election from the COBRA person during that transition to the new carrier. Before you go into open enrollment, check with your COBRA third-party administrator (TPA) to see if you have anyone on COBRA or anyone within their election window. That way if you make changes, you can work with your TPA to make sure the COBRA individuals are included each step of the way.
No matter when your plan renewals, having a strategy in place to communicate with your staff that this time of year is important. With the labor market shrinking and companies competing for the labor force, it is important that your employees realize how much you invest in them through the benefits package.
OmniaHR has professionals and a robust technology platform that make communication and electing benefits straightforward. For more information on how our team can help you in your next open enrollment, reach out to us today!