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Most HR Execs Aren’t Ready for Open Enrollment, Says Survey

By Charlie Pane, VP, Marketing, Major Account Services

Open Enrollment is a year-long process and one of the most important topics for HR leaders. Moreover, once the season is complete, the process starts all over again and they start thinking about next year’s plan. With this in mind, ADP® is excited to announce the Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB). This monthly survey gauges the readiness of HR executives for key open enrollment milestones. It is a useful tool for both HR leaders and benefits brokers to use in the planning process.

For HR leaders, it is to help them understand where they are in the process against their peers and if they are ahead or behind. For benefits brokers, the data will help them notice where the red flags are and allow them to reach out to their clients to ensure they aren’t falling behind on open enrollment preparation.

Below, we explain what the OERB is, how it is put together and importantly, what the most recent survey data say.

What is the OERB and how is ADP involved?

The Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB) measures employer readiness for open enrollment across four critical stages of the process: benefit plan design; preparation; process management; and program analysis and updates. Within each phase, employers report their progress on a number of activities – from selecting health plans to enrolling employees.

How does the OERB work?

The Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark is based on Employee Benefit Adviser’s quantitative survey of approximately 400 HR and benefits executives and decision makers about their readiness for the open enrollment process. They represent all sizes of employers from various industry sectors. Respondents are asked to elaborate on challenges or conditions that affect their organization’s ability and outlook to meet the milestones.

What does the OERB say this month?

The main news is that employers with benefits plans that take effect in the first quarter of 2018 have work to do before they’re ready to begin their 2018 open enrollment periods. Concerns included moving to a paperless process, compliance issues and deciding whether to adopt a private exchange and generating excitement about the coming enrollment period.

For January, respondents scored just 43 out of 100 on the OERB. They are doing pretty well on benefit plan design (63/100) but are much further behind when it comes to open enrollment preparation (30), open enrollment management (34) and open enrollment design analysis and follow-up (44). You can read the full report here.

How will ADP use the OERB report?

ADP will use the OERB report to help its benefit broker partners stay on top of benefit and open enrollment trends, enabling them to better advise their clients. There are four critical stages of the open enrollment process throughout the year:

  • Pre-enrollment: Benefit plan design
  • Pre-enrollment: Preparation
  • Enrollment: Process management
  • Post-enrollment: Program analysis and updates
  • The OERB will help brokers track and measure employers’ progress on a monthly basis throughout the year. An analysis PDF, written by an EBA editorial contributor, is delivered monthly and sponsored by ADP. ADP is proud to be a part of this initiative to highlight the company’s leadership in supporting a newly created benchmark that will help brokers help their clients in this critically important area.

    Updated Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark reports will be posted monthly. Be sure to check back on this blog for updates.

    oerb report

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