Employers Make Little Progress Assessing Open Enrollment Performance, EBA’s OERB Finds

Many organizations slow to review worker assessments, solicit employee feedback and track benefit sign-ups

NEW YORK, NY (February 5, 2018) Employee Benefit Adviser’s Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB) finds many organizations slow to start the critical task of reviewing their fourth-quarter open enrollment efforts.

The OERB tallies employer self-assessments in 26 activities that need to be completed in four key stages for a successful open enrollment, with no progress receiving a score of zero and completed tasks earning a score of 100. The open enrollment period, which usually takes place in the fall, is a critical time for employers as they look to engage their staff in health and retirement planning.

As employers emerge from their annual open enrollment periods, they usually begin appraising their programs to gauge whether their benefit strategies are working. However, among organizations with benefit start dates in the first quarter, the average score for enrollment analysis and follow-up tasks stood at just 47 in the most recent OERB report. Marks for individual activities within this stage, such as reviewing worker assessments of the process, and tracking benefit usage, were in the 40s or lower.

Benefit experts strongly recommend that advisers work with employers to review benefit participation statistics and the sign-up process so clients can better engage their workforce during the next open enrollment period.

“Working with clients to improve their open enrollment performance is a great way for brokers to prove they are valuable partners in the benefit process,” said John McCormick, Editorial Director of SourceMedia’s Employee Benefits group, which includes EBA and Employee Benefit News. “And those advisers who can truly position themselves as consultants are more likely to retain and attract business than those who are viewed simply as brokers of insurance products.”

The Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark is a data-based performance benchmark that gauges how prepared employers are for their annual employee benefit enrollment periods. The benchmark is sponsored by ADP. To produce the results, SourceMedia Research and EBA each month survey more than 400 pre-screened HR and benefit executives at organizations of various sizes and across multiple industries. These professionals are asked to rate their completion levels for 26 activities — from selecting health plans to reviewing enrollment metrics — that take place during the four critical phases of open enrollment: benefit plan design, employee preparation, employee enrollment and post-enrollment analysis. Scores range from a low of zero to a high of 100 and reflect the degree to which an employer considers itself prepared for a particular activity. The activity scores are then averaged to determine scores for each of the four phases and an overall readiness score. A complete analysis of the most recent OERB data is available here.

About Employee Benefit Adviser
Employee Benefit Adviser (EBA) is the information resource for employee benefit advisers, brokers, agents and consultants, providing the current awareness and perspective they need to anticipate changes in the marketplace and optimally serve their clients. EBA delivers a broad range of critical content, including comparative market data, legal and regulatory updates, the latest products and services, and best practices in benefits delivery — including health insurance, vision and dental insurance, and voluntary and retirement benefits. The benefits broker community relies on EBA to stay connected through its website comment forums, its social media communities and live events.

About SourceMedia Research
SourceMedia Research is a full-service B2B market research service that draws upon SourceMedia’s market expertise and proprietary database of engaged executives to develop information and insights for clients. SourceMedia Research provides research solutions for marketers, agencies and others targeting sectors such as banking, payments, mortgage, accounting, employee benefits and wealth management.

About SourceMedia
SourceMedia, an Observer Capital company, is an innovative, growing digital business information and performance media company serving senior-level professionals in the financial, technology and healthcare sectors. Brands include American Banker, PaymentsSource, The Bond Buyer, Financial Planning, Accounting Today, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Mortgage News, Employee Benefit News and Health Data Management.

About ADP
Powerful technology plus a human touch. Companies of all types and sizes around the world rely on ADP’s cloud software and expert insights to help unlock the potential of their people. HR. Talent. Benefits. Payroll. Compliance. Working together to build a better workforce. For more information, visit www.adp.com/business.

Dana Jackson

John McCormick