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New research from digital media company Arizent revealed employee benefits leaders’ biggest challenges and strategies for increasing benefits utilization. These findings can help shape employers’ 2024 open enrollment plans.

While employers already invest significant time and resources researching and designing their benefits plans, many feel like there is still work to be done to ensure benefits are impactful to workers. In fact, Arizent found that only 30% of HR leaders believe their company does a good job of improving benefits utilization. Fortunately, open enrollment season encourages organizations to assess their benefits challenges and develop a plan to tackle them.

Organizational challenges will vary, but here are some of the top priorities and perceived challenges from survey respondents:

  • Expanding high-value supplemental benefits and thinking beyond health care with benefits that support financial wellness and personal growth.
  • Prioritizing preventive care and chronic illness management programs to help lower employees’ medical costs.
  • Increasing employee communication and adopting various communication methods.
  • Making more thoughtful decisions through better expert guidance from brokers.
  • Finding cost savings with benefits during open enrollment.

Benefits leaders continue to be challenged to provide valuable offerings that appeal to a diverse workforce, all while offering benefits cost savings for the organization.

Employer Takeaways

Open enrollment is a crucial period for both employers and employees. It’s when employees can make important decisions about their benefits and an opportunity for employers to engage with their workforce and highlight the value of employer-sponsored benefits.

As organizations continue to adapt to evolving workforce needs and changing regulations in 2024, open enrollment is more critical than ever. Surveyed employers who said they’re effective at driving benefits utilization shared the following strategies:

  • Track benefits usage through participant rates and employee surveys.
  • Take specific actions to drive benefits usage, such as customizing a benefits website portal based on each employee’s unique needs and offering a concierge to personalize employee care.
  • Promote and encourage preventive care, screenings and wellness.
  • Leverage various benefits-related communication methods (e.g., email, digital benefits tools, employee resource groups and employee champions).
  • Communicate in advance—as early as six months ahead of time—and often about open enrollment throughout the year.

During open enrollment season and beyond, employers should monitor employee benefits trends, utilization and spending. For more employee benefits and open enrollment plans, contact INSURICA today.

Additional Resources

2024 Open Enrollment: The Power of Early Preparation 

2024 Open Enrollment Checklist

Educating Young Employees on Open Enrollment

Inflation’s Impact on 2024 Open Enrollment

Copyright © 2023 Smarts Publishing. This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. 

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