EBA Finds Employers’ Readiness For Open Enrollment Season Continues to Improve

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With benefit sign-up periods beginning soon, organizations still need to address many critical activities

As we get closer to the start of benefit sign-up season, we expect the scores to continue to improve.

For the second month in a row, Employee Benefit Adviser’s Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB) finds employers with benefit start dates in the first quarter of 2018 more prepared for open enrollment than they were the month before. However, with the annual benefits sign-up period just months away, organizations are still behind in several key areas.

The composite OERB score — an average of progress self-assessments for 26 open enrollment activities — ticked up two points from 40 in June to 42 in July. Employers are making strong progress in selecting health and retirement plans, setting launch dates for open enrollment and partnering with brokers. In fact, the score for broker selection was 81, the highest number record for an OERB activity since the benchmark’s March introduction.

The open enrollment period, which usually takes place in the fourth quarter for U.S. companies, is a critical time for employers as they look to engage their staff in health and retirement planning.

Yet with the year’s final quarter fast approaching, the scores for preparing employee communication, review compliance and eligibility issues, and documenting processes and procedures were all less than 40 — a clear indication that employers have substantial work left to do in these areas.

“While employers aren’t nearly done, they are making progress,” said John McCormick, Editorial Director of SourceMedia’s Employee Benefits group, which includes EBA and Employee Benefit News. “As we get closer to the start of benefit sign-up season, we expect the scores to continue to improve.”

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 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 http://www.adp.com/business.

For more information, please contact:

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

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

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Petra Hailu
SourceMedia, Inc.
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