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Common Open Enrollment Questions

By Donna Clifford Klein

Open Enrollment can be confusing for employees as they sort through benefits and decide which medical plan may be the best for their family. When these questions arise, employees will turn to HR and their employers for guidance on how to navigate the process. Below are a few employee questions HR professionals and employers should be prepared to answer to help facilitate a less stressful Open Enrollment.

What is Open Enrollment?

Each year, employers who offer employee health insurance hold an enrollment period for their medical plan, allowing employees to add or change benefits. This period is called Open Enrollment. Government-operated health exchanges, on a federal and state level, also offer open enrollment periods.

When is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance?

Employees should know in advance when Open Enrollment begins and should have received their benefits guides and information on what’s changing so they are fully prepared to enroll when the time comes. Keep an open line of communication with your employees in the time leading up to and during Open Enrollment and be clear on deadlines they should be mindful of, especially the last day they can make changes. During this time of year, it may make sense to assign a point person or two to act as a benefits resource specifically for employee questions. This is particularly important if there are significant changes compared to previous years, such as a change in the enrollment process. The dates for the health insurance exchange operated by the United States federal government open enrollment are November 1, 2022, through January 15, 2023.

What is the best healthcare plan option for me?

Clearly outline all plan options and insurance providers available to employees in your benefits guides as well as instructions on where they can get more detailed information about these plan options. Remind employees that when picking an option, they should keep in mind how many dependents they will have on their plan, how often they use their plans and the types of medical needs they have throughout the year, how much they spend each year on provider visits, and where their providers are in-network.

Do I need to make a change to my healthcare benefits?

There are a lot of factors employees should consider when choosing their medical plan. It may be helpful to ask a few questions to encourage employees to think about their specific needs. Some questions to ask are, “How much did you spend in the past year on out-of-pocket costs?” and “Are you planning for a big surgery or a life event next year?” Each employee’s specific needs will provide insight into the type of plan that will benefit them best, whether it is a high deductible plan, Reference-Based Pricing plan, PPO plan, etc. Be prepared to explain the plan options available to your employees, including any benefits or plans that are changing and the possible impact of those changes. Point employees to the tools available, which may help them decide. Make sure employees are informed if they are required to go through the enrollment process, even if they don’t plan to make changes, some benefits may need to be selected annually.

Is Open Enrollment just about my medical insurance?

Medical coverage tends to dominate the benefits conversation, but there are many voluntary benefits employees can enroll in during this time. Make sure employees understand all the ancillary, or additional, benefits available to them, as well as any requirements for those benefits, as some may have a different enrollment process. This is also a great time to bring up company perks that don’t require employee enrollment for them to directly benefit.

What changes can I make outside of Open Enrollment?

Employees may want to know how they can enroll or change benefits after Open Enrollment ends. While most changes may need to be made during the Open Enrollment period, employees can make changes outside of this period if they experience a life event like marriage or the birth of a child. Some ancillary benefits may allow changes or additions outside of the enrollment phase, be sure employees know where they may have more flexibility and where the deadline needs to be carefully observed.

Open Enrollment can be overwhelming for employees, but it doesn’t need to be. With the right tools and support, you can offer your employee a stress-free enrollment experience where they feel heard and informed. HealthComp is here to help – if you’re looking for guidance or have questions on how to share resources with your employees, reach out to your account management team.

Chad Harris

Chief Executive Officer

 

Chad Harris serves as the CEO of HealthComp and is a value-driven healthcare leader with over twenty years of experience running business process and information technology businesses as a senior executive. Chad has a reputation for creating and controlling rapid growth by focusing on the intersection of customers, market dynamics, and the new digital world.

 

Chad has held many senior executive positions and led global teams of more than 10,000 people across dozens of counties. Chad has grown both large and small businesses, from those with less than $100M of revenue to those producing multiple billions of revenue, focusing on delivery, customer satisfaction, and innovation to create market leadership.

 

Chad's philosophy is to inspire change by doing what comes naturally, putting the needs of others before his own, working incredibly hard, and focusing on "how" to accomplish things, never "if they can be accomplished."

Thomas Martel

Chief Growth Officer

 

Tom serves as the Chief Growth Officer at HealthComp. In this role, Tom focuses on strategic initiatives aimed at accelerating HealthComp’s growth nationwide. His passion lies in assessing market and enterprise structures and creating efficiencies that enable teams to deliver best-in-class performance.

 

Previously, Tom led Cigna’s largest employer segment, largest region which was comprised of several health plans including the two largest health plans. He worked closely with Market Presidents and their leadership teams to develop and execute local market strategy and deliver growth for the enterprise. Tom earned his degree from Saint Anselm College and holds certifications from The Wharton School and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. In his spare time, he enjoys sailing and holds a Master Captain’s license with the U.S. Coast Guard. He is also active in community outreach programs including local food bank and shelter services.

Sanoj Balakrishnan

Chief Technology Officer

 

Sanoj Balakrishnan serves as the Chief Technology Officer at HealthComp. In this role, he oversees the company’s overall technology strategy and architecture, building secure and highly scalable distributed systems.

 

Most recently, Sanoj served as Head of Healthcare Digital Business and Technology at Cognizant, working with payers and providers in developing solutions that reduced healthcare costs and provided a best-in-class experience for members. Earlier in his career, he worked at technology organizations in a variety of software engineering and architecture roles. Sanoj earned his B.S. from University of Mumbai and Computer Systems Management from National Institute of Information Technology.

Justin Tran

Executive Vice President, Product

 

Justin serves as the Executive Vice President of Product at HealthComp. He has 8 years of experience in developing and delivering solutions that reduce health care costs, improve quality, and provide a best-in-class experience for members. Most recently, Justin was an Associate Partner and business unit leader at McKinsey & Company where he helped large carriers and healthcare technology companies build new clinical services and solutions for fraud, waste, and abuse. Justin earned his B.S. in Accounting and Data Informatics from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Tucker Stein

Chief Financial Officer

 

Tucker serves as the Chief Financial Officer of HealthComp. Tucker previously worked for The Boeing Company in a number of finance and strategy roles, most recently as a finance lead for the Transactions and New Business Development group. In this role, Tucker led investments and strategic partnerships for Boeing’s Space and Communications portfolio. Tucker earned his MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and his Bachelors of Science at the University of Redlands.

Tom Georgouses

General Counsel

 

Tom is involved in multiple areas of HealthComp including Operations, Compliance and Legal Affairs. Tom was admitted to the California Bar in 1990 and started his legal career with Stammer, McKnight, Barnum and Bailey, LLP. When he left the firm to join HealthComp in 2014, he was the Managing Partner (he had represented HealthComp since 2003). In private practice, Tom’s areas of focus included healthcare and transactional work. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration-Finance from California State University Fresno and received his Juris Doctorate from San Joaquin College of Law.

Rishab Bansal

Chief Transformation & Operations Officer

 

Rishab serves as the Chief Transformation & Operating Officer at HealthComp. Rishab focuses on transforming and modernizing HealthComp’s operations to provide delightful and distinctive experiences to its members, providers, and clients. His agenda includes integrating all entities towards a One HealthComp vision, driving profitable growth, and delivering value and business outcomes.

 

In his former work over the last 2 decades, he has helped clients across industries to transform themselves by bringing industry-leading practices and digital and data-led disruption. As the trusted advisor to the C-suite, Rishab helped his clients leapfrog on their transformation journey to accelerate business outcomes and helped them unlock new opportunities to drive profitable growth, profitability, and enhanced experience for their employees and clients.


Elaine Davis

Chief Human Resources Officer

 

Elaine Davis serves as CHRO for HealthComp. Elaine previously served as CHRO for Continuum Global Solutions and has served in executive leadership positions for Xerox and GlaxoSmithKline. Elaine holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.