“Repositioning” has helped companies large and small step into a new era, driving consumers to think about their product or brand in a new way. Take Uber, for example. They’ve repositioned themselves from just a ride-sharing company to the folks that bring you your food, rent you a car, or even handle freight logistics for your business.
There are countless examples of companies that have successfully repositioned themselves over the years, and there are countless ways your organization can do the same—especially when it comes to open enrollment.
As healthcare costs rise with no end in sight, it’s no longer enough to think of open enrollment as the one time a year when employees can choose their benefits. It’s now a crucial time of year to help your employees employees save money. That’s why it’s time to reframe open enrollment as an annual financial check-up.
Here are three messages you can use to provide financial guidance and help your employees see open enrollment as their annual financial checkup:
1. Open enrollment is when employees can decide how they’ll spend their money pre-paycheck (and save).
Your employees probably don’t think twice about checking the batteries in their smoke detectors every year, or scheduling an annual physical with their primary care physician. But what about a financial check-up makes employees run for the hills?
Well, employees told us earlier this year that they’re still confused about their benefits, and 46% are doubtful that their healthcare plans give them enough coverage at the right cost. So many folks overspend on unnecessary coverage, or choose a plan with a cheaper monthly deductible that doesn’t provide enough coverage. So rather than dig into the (very complicated) weeds, employees just keep enrolling in the same health plan over and over again because it’s easier.
But a financial check-up is equally as important as other types of annual maintenance, and open enrollment is the perfect time for employees to re-evaluate their options. If an employee’s health plan isn’t working for them, they can switch. Open enrollment is the perfect opportunity for employees to save themselves (and your company) money by making smarter benefits decisions.
How? Focus on the communicating the pre-paycheck benefits of a 401K or HSA. Both of these accounts help employees: 1) Save money for down the road, and 2) invest their money so it’s worth more later. They’re the single most important ways employees can set themselves up for financial success when it comes to employee benefits. So make sure you’re showing employees why 401Ks and HSAs are so important in a clear, concise way.
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2. Open enrollment is when employees can make sure next year’s benefits fit next year’s needs.
A lot can change in a year. Maybe an employee is planning to have a baby, or know they have a surgery coming up, or they’re committing to try therapy for the first time. Whatever their change in circumstance is, their current medical plan might not be the best financial option for next year.
Ideally, your employees have access to a benefits engagement tool to help walk them through the costs and benefits of each of their options, based on the care they anticipate needing. But at the very least, thoughtful messaging can remind them to consider how their big life changes might affect their benefits, and offer some guidance about the questions they should be asking themselves.
3. Open enrollment is when employees can take stock of all their financial goals and obligations, benefits-related or otherwise.
For example, do they have an emergency fund for surprise bills? Are they not yet contributing to their 401(k) but want to? Are they trying to save money for a house? What about credit card debt or student loans?
Provide financial guidance around which problems to tackle first and how to create short- and long-term financial strategies. Also consider providing fiscal responsibility resources like personal finance podcasts or savings-building apps. By looking beyond benefits-related decisions, you can make the financial check up feel meaningful and personally relevant to employees.
Rebranding open enrollment may take some time and effort, but it will be well worth it in the end. It’s about changing the perception that open enrollment is a dreaded obligation and instead framing it as a financial wellness check up and opportunity to save money. This seemingly minor twist on an age-old challenge (i.e., engagement in open enrollment) helps motivate people to participate in critical decisions.