Employee Benefit Adviser’s Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark Reveals Companies’ Lack of Preparation

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Organizations continue to record low scores in open enrollment preparation and management

As a group, employers have a lot of ground to make up before their employee benefit sign-up periods.

Employee Benefit Adviser’s Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB) score fell in May, reaching the lowest level since its introduction in January. The three-point decline in the Benchmark’s composite score demonstrates organizations’ continuing lack of preparation for their fast-approaching employee benefit sign-up periods.

The open enrollment period, typically a fall event for companies in the United States, represents one of the most important opportunities an employer has to demonstrate the investment they have made in their employees and to engage employees in important activities such as health and wellness management and retirement planning.

The composite OERB score for organizations with benefit start dates in the first quarter, representing nearly 70% of all employers, was just 36 — down from 39 in April and 43 in January.

In addition, the number of activity-related red flags, indicating a serious lack of preparedness, rose from 12 to 13. One of the biggest declines was in the open enrollment management phase – which includes preparing employees for enrollment and boosting engagement. In this case, the overall score fell seven points from 29 in the previous month to 22. In fact, readiness scores for open enrollment management activities accounted for all but one of the six lowest numbers across the 26 activities tracked by the OERB.

“With open enrollment for many employers set to begin in only a few months, these low numbers are surprising,” said John McCormick, Editorial Director of SourceMedia’s Employee Benefits group, which includes EBA and Employee Benefit News. “As a group, employers have a lot of ground to make up before their employee benefit sign-up periods.”

The Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark is a data-based performance benchmark that gauges how prepared employers are for their annual employee benefits 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 benefits 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 1 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 a business-to-business digital marketing services, subscription information, and event 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 http://www.adp.com/business.

For more information, please contact:

Dana Jackson                                        
dana.jackson(at)sourcemedia(dot)com        
212-803-8329            

John McCormick
john.mccormick(at)sourcemedia(dot)com
212-803-8509

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SourceMedia, Inc.
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