Blogs5 Ways to Prepare for Open Enrollment

October 13, 2015, by Matt Hanson

Are you prepared for open enrollment and the reporting requirements of the Affordable Care Act? With over 70% of companies with less than 100 employees renewing their benefits on December 1st, health insurance carriers are sure to experience a log jam of paperwork. Planning ahead—preparing now—will give you the greatest chance for a successful open enrollment this year.

Use these five tips to help your open enrollment run smoothly:

  1. Give yourself time to prepare. As with most issues affecting your company, the more you procrastinate on selecting a health care plan, the more headaches you’ll be causing yourself. Be prepared weeks, if not months, in advance of the open enrollment date.
  2. Explore your options. It never hurts to connect with different providers and determine what options they offer. With Centennial, many employers are looking to our True Choice Health Care Exchange as a simple, one-stop solution. We have partnered with seven major health care carriers with over 40 different plan designs. We can customize your plan to meet your needs, be Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant and stay within your budget.
  3. Test the system. Most health care systems are now based online. Through online HR programs, employers have a central tracking source and employees receive a better access point to information.True Choice makes employee enrollment easy, but as the employer you will want to thoroughly test the online system yourself. This way you have a full understanding of all the functions to help train your employees and you can make sure it’s not going to be overly complicated for them to navigate.
  4. Communicate with your employees. Once you’ve settled on a plan, be sure and communicate the details to your employees as soon as possible. Set up the meetings in advance and always keep them informed of any new developments. Selling a healthcare plan to your employees is never easy. Communicate the values, the pros and the cons to them well before open enrollment starts. Encourage them to be active in choosing their own coverage options within your plan
  5. Prepare for ACA compliance and reporting. Beginning in 2016, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers, small employers with self-insured health plans, and all large employers (those with 50 or more full-time or equivalent employees) to report certain information about health insurance to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and provide covered individuals with an annual statement. The IRS will use the information to enforce the ACA's health insurance mandates (for individuals and employers) and to administer premium tax credits. Get familiar with all aspects of ACA compliance and put a system in place to handle all your healthcare reporting. Conveniently, all True Choice plans are ACA compliant.

We hope you find these tips helpful in preparing for your company’s open enrollment period for 2016. It’s coming up quicker than you may realize, so follow these strategies and you’ll be better off when that time comes. If True Choice sounds like the right choice for your company, fill out our follow up request form for more information.