Open Enrollment Made Easier

We all know that open enrollment can be a time of great stress and frustration for the human resource departments of many companies. HR professionals struggle to make sure that each and every employee hears about all of their options and makes the best choices for themselves and their families. 

With the advent of the new Obama Health Care regulations, it is even more vital that employees receive accurate and timely information in order to comply with the new laws in place for health care benefits. Many components of the Health Care for America Act are already in place, including a provision for employees keeping adult children, up to the age of 26, on their medical benefits plan. This is a big change, and it is important that everyone is aware of it. 

Benefits enrollment systems assist the human resource staff in getting out all of the correct information to the employees, both during enrollment and year-round. This software is extremely helpful in several ways. First of all, it will provide a platform for communicating about any scheduled meetings on benefit changes within the company. These meetings traditionally take place during the open enrollment time frame and are important for making decisions that affect the employees for the rest of the year. As well, many of these applications even provide scheduling tools for individual meetings, if a company-wide meeting is not a possibility. 

Secondly, these computer programs can upload all of the plan options and changes in coverage, enabling the employees to view these documents online. The advantage of making this information available online is that the staff has the opportunity to study the documents before the meetings take place, thus giving the employees the chance to be more informed, and perhaps giving them the knowledge to ask better questions. 

Another advantage of specialized HR Software is that many programs offer a self-serve option. This means that employees are given the capability of changing their benefit options on their own during the enrollment period. With an Employee Self-Service (ESS) option, much of the paperwork can be eliminated, as the data goes directly into the computer. This direct service option can save hours of work for the human resource department, who can then better spend their time in a consulting and advisory capacity. 

Software for human resources is very beneficial in many ways, both for employees and human resource professionals. Many declare after using the software for some time, that they don't know how they were able to function without it. Using this type of technology can truly help in dealing with the complicated process of making sure that every employee has the best coverage possible for themselves and their family. 

About the Author
Carolyn Sokol writes about issues that may affect small businesses such as human resources, HRMS, and HRM Software. She is a founder of and contributor to which both help businesses find an HRIS or Payroll Service provider for their particular needs.