Every year, Ease, a company that offers technology solutions for insurance agencies, publishes a detailed report outlining the current state of open enrollment, employee benefits and employee preferences.
For its 2022 Open Enrollment Readiness Report, Ease surveyed 1,745 employers, benefits agency owners, insurance brokers and others to determine exactly what’s happening in the HR world today. Here’s an overview of their most insightful findings:
In 2022, nearly 82% of brokers shifted how they do business. Their go-to tools have changed (unsurprisingly, Zoom earned the No. 1 spot!), how they serve their employees has changed and their acceptance of permanent or hybrid remote work opportunities has changed.
Currently, a full 42% of the surveyed companies conduct their work fully or mostly remotely — and even their clients now predominantly prefer virtual services. In terms of benefits, big changes are happening in that sphere, too.
Last year, roughly 65% of employers changed their benefits strategy to boost engagement, in response to the Great Resignation, labor shortages and the increasingly competitive landscape. In 2022, 50% of employers plan on changing their offerings and strategy to remain competitive.
Companies’ acceptance of open enrollment technology solutions is increasing, also. Nearly 1 in 3 businesses currently use a technology solution to facilitate open enrollment season.
Meanwhile, nearly 3 in 4 employers believe a technical solution is of equal or higher importance to them this year, when compared to 2021. As more companies go remote, this number is likely to continue to increase.
Employees expect more — and they’re getting it
To remain competitive, more companies than ever expect to increase their benefits offerings this enrollment season. Of the companies surveyed, 75% know they need to add more insurance and benefit options to their groups this coming year.
Here are the biggest changes these companies are making:
- 42% are adding worksite benefit options like accident and life insurance.
- 33% are increasing the number of health insurance plan options they offer.
- 33% are adding extra mental health benefits.
- 29% are offering additional wellness resources.
- 20% are offering a telemedicine option.
In addition to benefits like PTO, parental leave, education allowances and home office reimbursements, these extra and expanded benefits help employers stay competitive in today’s tight job market.
But they also add paperwork and admin hours to PeopleOps teams across the country. While their benefits offerings may be more valuable than ever, so is the effort required to administer these benefits seamlessly.
Employers are getting strategic about open enrollment and their benefits
Here are the top benefits strategies employers are focusing on in 2023:
- 60% of employers say they choose benefits based on what’s best for their employees’ health and well-being.
- 40% of employers choose based on health care prices, both the cost they pay and what their employees will owe.
- 38% prioritize the benefits that improve employee satisfaction and engagement.
- 23% prioritize the benefits that attract top talent and reduce turnover.
Employer needs are growing
In 2022, a record-setting number of employers expected their benefits broker to be available throughout the year— not just during enrollment season. They expect extra help with ongoing program management, on-demand and innovative solutions and administration support.
For these companies, outsourcing benefits management to a support company like Escalon can help reduce the administrative burden on their team — creating more free time, a more productive workplace and more satisfied employees.
When it comes to benefits management and administration, employers have high expectations for their providers
In today’s remote-first world, benefits providers that offer a full suite of digital tools stand out. Nearly 40% of companies that chose a new benefits agency this year, made that decision based on the agency’s ability to do business and conduct open enrollment meetings online.
And 29% of agencies say their paper-free open enrollment policy won them new business this year (up almost 8% from last year!).
Employers are looking for easy, online ways to help their employees choose the benefits mix that works best for them. They say the most important tools they look for are user-friendly cost-estimating tools to help employees understand what they’ll owe, personalized engagement materials and streamlined digital enrollment technology.
Managing benefits is hard on HR teams, and choosing the right benefits is complicated for employees. By outsourcing these tasks — throughout the year and especially during open enrollment season — companies can lighten their administrative burdens and offer their team members an even better experience.
Want more? In addition to HR, benefits, recruiting and payroll through its PeopleOps, Escalon’s Essential Business Services include FinOps (CFO services, bookkeeping and accounting) and Risk (business insurance). Talk to an expert today.