For most health insurance Brokers, preparing for open enrollment starts early. Brokers who get a jump start, tend to quote more business, stay organized and experience less stress. By preparing for open enrollment earlier in the year, Brokers can also better serve Small Groups by eliminating common frustrations like not understanding changes in plans and choices, feeling rushed and all-around confusion. Below, we provided a checklist to help Brokers stay on track and prepare for open enrollment.
1. Evaluate Technology and Processes
Between scheduling meetings, staying in touch with prospects and preparing quotes and proposals, your schedule can fill up quickly. It’s important to evaluate your different processes and technology to make sure you’re as efficient as possible.
Think back to last year’s open enrollment to identify what worked, what didn’t work and what you can do better. Did the amount of paperwork drive you insane? Was it hard to keep information consistent across all platforms? Did running quotes eat away at your time?
Utilizing one online platform like FormFire can solve these challenges. From quoting to enrollment, FormFire’s secure digital platform has all the tools needed to help Brokers stay organized, quote more business and stand out from the competition.
2. Review Changes in Healthcare
As you prepare for open enrollment, it’s important to educate yourself on the ever-changing health insurance landscape. Three major changes that occur almost every year include:
Health Insurance Rates: Health insurance premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket limits typically change every year, either increasing or decreasing. While these changes are typically slower for small businesses, you’ll still need to make your Groups and their employees aware.
Carriers Offering Plans: It can be common for Carriers to make changes to their health insurance offerings. Some may pull out from offering certain plans in certain states, leaving Groups fewer choices. Others may offer new plans in new states. Make sure you’re educated on the Carrier plan offerings in the states you serve.
Healthcare Legislation: You may have a greater understanding of the shifts in healthcare, but your potential clients aren’t likely to be experts on the subject. Healthcare legislation changes constantly, which can make clients uneasy about how the laws and regulations may affect them. Before open enrollment, make sure that you read up on any new changes in legislation so that you can keep your clients both new and old in the loop.
Additionally, to help you provide the best possible health insurance options this year, Brokers should pay special attention to the benefits most sought after by employees, such as wellness programs, telemedicine and voluntary benefits.
3. Meet With Your Existing Groups
While you may be excited to quote new prospects, it’s important not to neglect your existing client base of Small Groups. Set up meetings to discuss any issues that arose during the previous open enrollment cycle and address any questions they may have going into this year. Also, make yourself aware of any shifts in your Groups’ headcount and how it may affect their benefit offerings. These Group benefits meetings also serve as great opportunities to promote extra services, explain technology and grow your relationship.
A great tool for ongoing Group management is FormFire’s Business Intelligence Reporting. This provides Brokers with a better picture of your Group’s health, including a yearly snapshot of clients added, number of Employees in each Group and their renewal date. FormFire’s new Group Health Audit Report combines our two most popular reports, the Medical Conditions Summary report and the Prescription Summary report, into one convenient report. This new reporting feature enables Brokers to quickly and efficiently review a Group’s health risk, as well as compare it to other Groups, to better understand how it may affect their eligibility with a Carrier.
After meeting with your Groups, you should have a good understanding of which Groups will be re-enrolling in their health plans and which are looking to make a switch. For those Groups that won’t be making any changes to their existing health plan, Brokers have the ability to renew health plans for Groups in bulk with just a few clicks when using FormFire during open enrollment.
4. Preload Information
Data collection can eat up a lot of precious time, especially if you’re dependent on Employees to provide you with their information. FormFire’s Information Preloader can streamline this process ahead of open enrollment by giving you the means to populate as much or as little Group information as you need, not including medical information. The Information Preloader provides Brokers with a simple Excel spreadsheet that can be preloaded with basic Group information that can be provided by an Employer, such as street addresses and other basic data. This data will then go through an automated Error Check to identify duplicated and invalid data before to ensure more accurate quotes.
5. Start Quoting
By following the steps outlined above, you should now be ready to start the quoting process. During this busy time of year, Brokers need to be able to quickly pull quotes from Carriers and present them to Groups in preparation for open enrollment, which is when employers and employees can select or make changes to their health plans.
This is where FormFire’s Quote Engine can really shine by allowing you to not only provide more quotes but look good doing it. With the Quote Engine, Brokers can easily pull quotes from participating Carriers using only basic demographic information. These quotes can then be instantly downloaded into a customizable, branded proposal that is ready for Brokers to deliver and present to Groups.
Be Prepared Year-Round
Preparation is key to a successful open enrollment. Brokers need to have the right tools in place to make sure they can quote more business quickly and efficiently. FormFire offers Brokers a professional set of tools that streamlines and simplifies the Group benefits process from start to finish. Contact FormFire today to learn more or request a free demo.