Healthcare Open Enrollment for individuals is in full swing, as you might already know. However, Open Enrollment for your group benefits might happen now, or at a different time of the year. Regardless of your time frame, watch out for these potential mistakes when it’s time to re-enroll in your group plan.
Forgetting your paperwork. Follow all reporting requirements to the letter; even those who self- fund employee health care must report certain information to the IRS.
Even companies that are not required to offer group health insurance must keep accurate records of hours worked. These records serve as your proof that you are complying with the law.
Offering inconvenient enrollment methods. Some employees are more comfortable with an old-fashioned paper approach, while others need the convenience of an online portal. Allow employees at least two different methods to complete their enrollment, and make sure they know whom to ask for help.
Restricting choices too severely. It can be tempting to pick one group health plan and go with it, for the sake of simplicity. But employees consistently report that health insurance options are more important than ever. Luckily we have ways to allow employees to opt into additional forms of insurance, or programs such as a health savings plan, that most business owners can accommodate within their budgets.
Even if they have to pick up the cost, many employees say that the option to add benefits to their packages will inspire company loyalty. Add-on options keep you competitive as an employer, so be sure to explore everything available to you.
Failing to communicate. Of course, you won’t know which benefits are important to employees, if you don’t ask. Keep the lines of communication open, encouraging employees to make suggestions. Ask questions at company meetings, or poll your employees on their preferences.
Finally, whether you offer group health benefits or not, the Affordable Care Act all companies subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act to communicate with employees regarding health insurance coverage. All employees must be notified regarding their group healthcare plan (or lack thereof) so they can make a decision.
For more information on employer requirements, such as communicating benefit options to employees, give us a call. We can help you sort out your benefits package regardless of when your Open Enrollment period occurs.