Everything happens at once!  Doesn’t it feel like that during 4th Quarter?  Not only are companies busy wrapping up the year, trying to meet goals and prepare for next year, but employees will soon be wrapping up in blankets at football games, wrapping twine around the turkey to roast or deep fry it, and wrapping presents to put under the tree.

A big part of wrapping up the year is Open Enrollment for benefit plans.  This is the time of year when a company, and its employees can make changes to insurance coverages and payroll deductions.  That means one thing—deadlines!  Here’s a few tips so you don’t get killed by deadlines:

  • Plan ahead. This typically means backing into a schedule.  If you’ve been through Open Enrollment before, you probably have a good idea of when things will probably be due.  Go ahead and plan a tentative schedule, allowing blocks of time for management and employee meetings, forms gathering, etc.  Once you are notified of actual deadlines you can adjust the schedule accordingly.
  • Read your email and mail. Notifications will come swiftly from the Benefits Department.  The insurance carriers are working under tight deadlines too, and will give us as much notice as possible of your deadlines.  Be looking for any communication from the Benefits Department.
  • Communicate with your employees. Employee deadlines need to be set giving you enough time to do the administrative tasks that come with Open Enrollment—distributing and gathering forms, answering questions, etc.  Make sure that employee communications are clear and concise.  Send countdown reminders with deadlines in bold type.
  • Check and double-check.  Upon receipt of employee paperwork, check to make sure all questions are answered, and forms are signed and dated, when necessary.  Try not to accept a form that is not complete.  This will save you time and curb frustrations instead of incomplete forms being returned for you to track down the employee again.

UniqueHR is committed to making your Open Enrollment as easy as possible (after all there are many other fun things to do in 4th Quarter).  Employee forms will be due before Thanksgiving.  Watch for notices and reminders and deadlines.  We’ll help you wrap up the year-end without getting killed by deadlines!

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