COVID-19 and Open Enrollment Meetings

Shows employees meeting during COVID

COVID-19 and Open Enrollment Meetings

By Grant Dattilo 

Employee benefits and health insurance open enrollment is, without a doubt, more complicated than usual this year thanks to COVID-19. Yet enrollment remains a vitally important management process for employees and employers alike in maintaining a positive work environment.

Ensuring that employees understand their benefit plans and options is a high priority. Doing the open enrollment process right adds perceived value to employees and can save employers money and frustration.

Employers are hearing about the COVID-19 regulations from many sources – about masks, distancing and extra sanitizing procedures. These should be followed carefully. Yet, this still leaves the challenge of conducting a successful open enrollment process. Dattilo Consulting, Inc. meets this new challenge by offering open enrollment options.

Option 1: YouTube Open Enrollment Meetings. If an employer wants to make their open enrollment information available 24/7 via the Internet, a YouTube Open Enrollment Meeting is an option. The advisor will prerecord the presentation, post it on the agency’s YouTube channel, and then provide the employer with a link to distribute to employees.

Option 2: Virtual Open Enrollment Meeting. Some employers have their employees working remotely. A virtual open enrollment meeting is the most effective and convenient way to deliver details of the benefit plan to them. In other cases, employers may have on-site employees, or both. Employers may also prefer a virtual open enrollment meeting for employees who are on-site.

With on-site employees, employers will need to ensure each employee has access to a computer and has received the meeting invitation. Small groups could meet in the same room, with a large monitor set up to access the virtual meeting. Several meetings may need to be scheduled to accommodate everyone.

Virtual meetings can sometimes be more efficient and as effective as face-to-face meetings. To be most effective, the advisor will be flexible and work with the employer to schedule a time or times to meet employee’s needs.

Option 3. Face-to-Face, In-Person Open Enrollment Meeting. Employers who require their employees to come to work should expect their advisors to provide face to face enrollment meetings as they have in the past.

On-site live meetings, however, require careful consideration of the need to provide distance between employees. A room large enough for all employees or even the same shift, may not be available.

When space is not available for all employees to meet at once as in the past, the advisor will need to offer additional meeting choices so employers can divide employees into smaller groups.

Whichever option is chosen 

The critical factor is to deliver the information your employees and their dependents depend on during the open enrollment season. This year, in addition, is the need to protect employees with proper COVID-19 procedures. These three options provide flexibility and effective way for employers to show that they care for their employees and dependents during this unique open enrollment season.

For more information about how Dattilo Consulting Inc. (DCI) delivers these services, email grant@dci-clientserv.com.

[i] This article is the property of Dattilo Consulting, Inc. (DCI. No reproduction in any form is authorized without the expressed written permission of DCI.

Grant Dattilo
grant@dci-clientserv.com