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Navigating Open Enrollment like a Pro: A Guide for Employers

As open enrollment season approaches, employees across the country are preparing to make important decisions about their healthcare coverage. Open enrollment is the designated period when employees can make changes to their existing medical coverage, such as changing plans, adding or dropping dependents, and even adding optional benefits. It is a crucial time for both employers and employees to ensure that they have the right coverage and understand their options.


Effective communication during the open enrollment period is essential to help employees make informed decisions about their healthcare. Here are some key strategies to enhance your open enrollment communication:

  1. Communicate Frequently, but Avoid Overwhelming Employees: Regularly provide updates and reminders about the open enrollment process to keep it at the forefront of employees’ minds. However, be mindful not to overload them with excessive information.
  2. Be Honest and Direct About Cost Increases: Transparency is vital when discussing any cost increases. Clearly explain any changes in premiums, deductibles, or co-pays so that employees understand the financial implications of their choices.
  3. Discuss the “Five Cs” of Enrollment: When communicating with employees, cover the following topics known as the “Five Cs” of enrollment:
      • Cost: Explain the cost breakdown of different plans and highlight any changes from the previous year.
      • Coverage Information: Provide detailed information about the coverage provided by each plan, including limitations and exclusions.
      • Changes to Plans: Outline any modifications or additions to existing plans to help employees understand their options.
      • Comparisons to Last Year’s Plans: Highlight the differences between this year’s plans and the plans offered in the previous enrollment period.
      • Current Options: Clearly present all available plan options, ensuring employees are aware of alternatives to their current coverage.
  1. Provide Information on Available Healthcare Providers: Help employees understand the network of healthcare providers available to them under each plan. Provide resources or links to find doctors, hospitals, and specialists that are covered by their chosen insurance provider.
  2. Utilize a Variety of Communication Methods: People have different preferences for receiving information. Employ a combination of communication methods such as emails, printed materials, virtual presentations, and face-to-face discussions to reach a wider audience.
  3. Provide Additional Assistance as Needed: Recognize that some employees may require additional support during the open enrollment process. This includes individuals with mental or physical disabilities, those with low or fixed incomes, parents of children with special needs, and non-English speakers. Offer tailored assistance to ensure they can fully understand and navigate their options.
  4. Collaborate with a Broker: Consider partnering with a broker, such as Kapnick, who can provide expert guidance and support throughout the open enrollment period. A knowledgeable broker can help employees understand the nuances of different plans and ensure that their benefits are fully understood and appreciated.


Open enrollment is a critical time for employees to assess their healthcare needs and select the right coverage for themselves and their families. By implementing effective communication strategies, employers can empower their workforce to make informed decisions, creating a win-win situation for both parties.

For more information, reach out to us at or 888.263.4656! We are here to help you navigate the open enrollment process and ensure its success.