As the end of the year approaches, so too does one of the busiest seasons I know. No, it’s not the holidays, at least not during my working hours. For me, it’s open enrollment season.
During open enrollment your company’s HR department recirculates health insurance benefits information, alerts you to any changes in the plan offerings, and reminds you to sign up or make any changes by the deadline. If you work in that HR role, you know the season well, including the flutter of activity as you finalize plans, update collateral, hold informational meetings, and ensure all your employees are lined up for the coverage they need.
For me and the rest of the sales department at Independence Blue Cross (Independence), it’s an all-hands-on-deck marathon as we educate, update, and serve our customers from coast to coast.
What is open enrollment?
For my team, open enrollment season starts well before its time for members to renew. In the weeks prior, we are connecting with our customers and ensuring Independence is helping them prepare. We are making sure our customers have all the materials and information they need to help educate their employees, and that they can clearly explain any changes they have made to their plans. For companies using the health care exchange, we are sharing what sets Independence apart and how to use the value-added benefits our plans offer.
As the season kicks off, we personalize our communications to fit the culture and set-up of each company. We may be part of a corporate health fair, make a presentation online via an all-company webinar, or create a custom microsite online for a company’s employees that includes important information and a Q&A section. However, I prefer the personal touch that you get with open enrollment events onsite with our customers.
IBX on the go: onsite meetings and events
When it’s go-time, my team is there, on the ground, in the offices, helping HR and employees alike. We come bearing energy and information, ready to share all the positives our plans offer as well as explain how to navigate them on a daily basis. That means we’re showing people how to file claims, use the prescription drug coverage, or get reimbursement for their gym membership.
While Independence is headquartered in Philadelphia, our reach is national. We put our focus on supporting our customers at all locations across the country, which means on any given day we might have reps headed to customers just down Market Street as well as in other time zones. My team works together to ensure everyone has coverage and every client is addressed – I’ve personally been known to run a comprehensive spreadsheet ensuring our reps are all going to the right place at the right time for maximum efficiency.
Open enrollment meetings are usually held at your company’s office. But we’ve presented in the middle of warehouses, manufacturing floors, and oil refineries. We’ve been outside, buried under layers of sweaters, parkas, and gloves. We’ve been 80 miles from the nearest stoplight. We’ll go wherever our new customers or members are.
What open enrollment might mean for you
If there is an open enrollment meeting occurring this fall in your workplace, I strongly encourage you to attend. Yes, there will probably be free food or goodies. But there will also be priceless information. If you have any questions about what your plan covers, this is the time to ask. If you recently got married or had a child or had a spouse changes jobs, now is the time to make sure your family is on the right plan. We welcome all questions. Health benefits are an important decision, and you should make sure you are selecting the benefits that work best for you and your family. It’s the reason I spend the last quarter of the year traveling the country and doing what I do.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.