Open Enrollment Trends Every Employer Should Know This Year


Trends for open enrollment this year practically mirror those of last year. Lots of virtual options and an emphasis on mental health support. But there are a few new ones to add to the mix, so this week we’re going to briefly review the most important to note, new and old.


New trends to note, old trends to review


  1. Over-the-counter medications. Employers are going to want to review any new legal requirements for the coming year, such as HSAs covering over-the-counter medications without needing a prescription. Always make sure to carefully outline these changes to employees so that they are able to utilize the benefit right away.
  2. Mental health coverage. This coverage has not waned in popularity. This includes management training in guiding employees to the correct mental health assistance they need.
  3. Chronic illness care. Expanded coverage in programs focused on chronic illness care, such as diabetes, or family services like prenatal care, are getting a lot of increased attention. To compliment these services, there are app-based tools available so that employees can easily take control of their own healthcare by guiding them through the enrollment process. These platforms help to customize their choices, and support them in using their plans by offering phone consultations and topic-specific webinars.
  4. Beneficiaries. Another subject that arose in popularity last year was discussing encouraging employees to review and update their beneficiaries. Surprisingly, updating such an important material is often overlooked, and can cause quite a headache if it goes unnoticed.
  5. Decision support. If employers learned one thing within the last year, it’s how crucial supplying decision-making tools is for ensuring that employees not only pick the right plan for themselves but also use it throughout the year. Benefits that go unused is costly for employers. So utilize resources such as vendor Q&As and tech that easily compares plans.


The last trend we want to highlight is the rise in cost-transparency for all offered pans. Employees do not always know how to find information about out-of-networks costs or what out-of-pocket limits mean. Employers will not only want to discuss plan costs with staff in detail, they’ll want to make the information easily accessible throughout the year.

If you have questions about any of these trends and how best to utilize them during the open enrollment period and beyond, HR can answer them! We can also collaborate with you to offer comprehensive plans that will be the most beneficial to your team. We offer small businesses an experienced HR department that know how to support their teams. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.


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