Never change things by fighting the existing reality….to change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Buckminster Fuller
Engineer-Architect-Futurist

Enrollment Technology that is inclusive and effective

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At Elite-VB, we leverage technology as a tool, not a replacement for people, We know how to implement and service Covid-19 compliant enrollments through our use of technology, knowing that your employees and their needs are the focus of every design.

Elite-VB’s toolbox includes technology that is:

  • secure, engaging and most importantly, EASY (regardless of employee’s tech skills)
  • employee education materials that are professional, creative, and engaging and can be delivered via text/smartphone
  • Our EASE ben admin license takes away clunky paper and carrier’s enrollment portals

secure + user friendly + mobile friendly = effective

The most important part of a successful voluntary benefit enrollment is ensuring that employees can make their elections secure, easily and will fit into a “active enrollment” application.  With over 40 Ben Admin and electronic enrollment options, each company’s situation is specific and the voluntary broker needs to understand which enrollment process will work best for their organization.  Voluntary benefits can be enrolled within an HRIS platform, they can be enrolled in an outside ben admin platform (such as EASE) or a carriers platform. 

It’s critical that employees are “touched” 5-7 times during the enrollment in order to take action.  One of the advantages of EASE is that platform itself reaches out directly to the employee three of those five times…directly to their e-mail/smartphone.  The great thing about EASE is that it can enroll ALL of a company’s benefits…how neat is that?

Every company is unique

Following a “digital needs assessment”, Elite-VB will consult with each client to ensure the best enrollment method is used.  All of our enrollments are virtual – meaning employees can sign up on their phones, tablet, laptop so enrollment is a “click” away.

Tech doesn't replace people

When we talk about “virtual solutions” it doesn’t mean employees will lack “personal touch”.  We are big believers that those who need individual support should always receive it.  Many times there’s no replacement for one-on-one guidance in order to help employees make good choices for themselves and their families.

Bottom Line

The Pandemic changed the way we shop, buy, read the news, watch moves…all in the palm of our hand with our smartphones.  This “shift” is a GIFT for voluntary.  Gone are the days of scheduling one-on-one times to meet with the benefit counselor.  Due to this technology, we can effectively reach 50, 500 or 50,000, driving HIGH participation 

we have the tools to get the job done right

As we learn about your organization, the design/build for your voluntary plan will develop.  Leveraging the tools that we have at our fingertips, our goal is to engage your employees from the beginning of the enrollment process to the end.  Voluntary benefits have high “emotional value”, therefore we utilize technology tools to blend emotions with the products presented along with the need. 

We then create the roadmap for employees to ensure the enrollment process is easy and efficient.  We also use these tools to make your company the hero for offering these benefits as you deserve the credit for providing financial protection when your employees need it the most. 

Pre-Enrollment

E-mail is still the primary way most employers communicate with their employees.  We know that the more engaging the e-mail from HR, the better the participation and return on the investment of the enrollment overall. We will ensure that e-mail content is professional, compliments your organization’s style and workforce and sets the stage for a successful enrollment.

Depending on the site of the organization, Elite-VB’s partnerships with various carriers allows us to access the tools that they bring. Custom-branded “Microsites” are one. 

If your company needs a landing page where all of the voluntary benefits are offered, one-stop for plan design PDF’s, custom videos with the products listed, and most importantly, links to enroll, we can bring this solution to the table.  These sites are great as employees can access them during the year and many have links to carrier’s claims site and ways to file for wellness benefits.

Pamela now offers custom or stock-design videos and can produce a unique video for your organization (depending on the size of your organization) which can include cameos of management, screenshots of how to enroll and a timeline for enrolling. 

Our standard (five-product) six-minute enrollment video can be sent ahead of time as well, either via e-mail / text or within the enrollment platform.  We know that your message is important to your employees and go the extra mile to ensure the video message is consistent with your company’s values for offering the benefits and will build positive results for the initial enrollment, new hires and future open enrollments.

If your organization uses text for communication, text tools abound that will alert employees to the open enrollment specifics, links to our enrollment video (if used) and most importantly, links to either a website or directly to the enrollment platform. 

Lately, using text alerts with imbedded links to sign up for a one-on-one with a benefit counselor has proven to be highly effective.  This is important so we can ensure ALL employees sign up or decline coverage…all with a click away and all with reports that show WHO has signed up for coverage, who hasn’t, and ensure we’re serving ALL employees during Open Enrollment.

The video is ideal for new hires as HR can share the video in any of the ways listed above during their new hire orientation.  No longer is it HR’s job to “sell” the “need” for the voluntary benefits.  The video takes that off their shoulders in a highly effective and consistent way to view as they learn about the new voluntary benefits provided to them by their employer.  

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Enrollment

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There is no technology replacement for explaining the benefits your company offers without good ‘ole benefit meetings.  The results are in:  employees want their employees to communicate the benefits they offer, which means at Elite-VB we will always work to have the basis of the benefit offering consist of group meetings, or now with Covid, virtual group meetings.

We have perfected a process whereby we can hold a mandatory group meeting (again, virtually or online with Zoom or Go-to-Meeting) in a half hour.  In 30 minutes, we can show our six-minute enrollment video, go into a custom PowerPoint of YOUR benefits offered and wrap up with instructions on how to enroll (either self-enroll or with a benefit counselor) and when policies are effective.

We know this process is effective as we have proven it over and over.  Just a half hour, used effectively and efficiently typically drives participation between 30-50%

One of the reasons the meetings need to be MANDATORY is because by offering products with NO HEALTH QUESTIONS (also called “guarantee issue”) typically only applies to the initial open enrollment.  You want to ensure that every employee makes a clear “yes” or “no” choice, which also protects your organization for someone failing to understand the options provided.

Web-based, secure enrollment platforms have transformed the voluntary benefit/worksite process…just in time with Covid making face-to-face enrollments more challenging than ever. 

Elite-VB will uncover which payroll software is being used and determine which enrollment method is best for each organization

Enrollment platforms can be also used via self-enroll, co-browse or face-to-face if needed.  We always recommended the platform be paired with strong pre-enrollment communication (Ideally my seven-minute benefit video) and drives ALL employees to elect coverage or decline.  Passive enrollments are never effective.  

Elections are easy, simple and delivered in Excel format “perfect to the penny”.  Employees can also go back into the platform and review their benefit options once the enrollment is complete.  Enrollment platforms are great as your employees can also enroll…

Many employees use their phones for everything and enrolling in voluntary benefits should be one of them.  Ease, Navigator, Selerex, all of these platforms are easy to navigate, your employee’s information is secure and statistics show that more and more employees are utilizing their phone to browse the web, investigate companies, watch videos and make purchases.  We know how to incorporate your employee’s desire to utilize their phone to enroll in benefits if that is one of the ways that work for your staff.

Many employees don’t need to discuss their enrolment options with a benefit counselor, but some need assistance.  Whether it is for understanding the specific benefits, the features, the premiums, or perhaps comparing existing coverage (to determine whether to keep their coverage or replace or supplement), some staff need that one-on-one attention.  Making decisions about disability coverage, how much life insurance to purchase, what exclusions are listed and more, means your employees need to speak with a licensed representative.  We can help any and all employees with these questions and help them to make INFORMED decisions through one-on-one enrollment sessions.  These are done over the phone or phone/web with a benefits counselor. 

This option helps employees understand their benefit options and enroll in their choices. Co-browsing is the “virtual” way of enrolling and our agency has been utilizing co-browsing for years (joinme, go-to-meeting, Zoom, etc). This option is paired best with the Online Scheduler Tool.

Need an easy way for your staff to sign-up to meet with a benefit counselor…either face-to-face or co-browse?  Online tools have made that easy with “online scheduler” tools that allow staff to sign-up to be seen (again, either virtually or in office) with e-mail confirmation and text confirmations.  They are efficient and management can assign certain days/times that work best for their organization for staff to meet (or they can be told NOT to do so during work hours and those times set aside for nights/weekends)

It is possible, that, in the future (or perhaps now) that your staff is able to SAFELY meet with benefit counselors that are observing social distance (same room, six feet apart and wearing masks) and if so, we are committed to being where your staff is located at.  Summer of 2022 may see this process change due to higher and higher levels of vaccinations, which is our hope.  Our passion is to meet with your workforce face-to-face…the way that we did it for many years.  If the benefits can be presented, explained and enrolled at your workplace SAFELY, let us know and we’ll honor and respect the guidelines you have in place.

Some employers don’t have a payroll slot for deductions from the employee’s paychecks, so depending on the industry, we may be able to take the premiums directly from their bank account/credit card. Lots of carriers provide great “non-payroll” options, so if you are adamant about NOT wanting to do the deduction, let’s chat – your employees deserve the coverage they need to protect themselves and family.  I've created a specific solution with my "individual product" site:  www.realeasyprotection.com.  Utilizing Breeze, Liferaft and Plumlife to fulfill the non-payroll need

Some carriers can have their voluntary benefits built into your current HRIS platform, so there is no need for an external enrollment platform. Obviously, this is ideal and we work with many carriers that have this option so there is no need for deduction report – the enrollment process is integrated with your benefit platform and program.

There are times when electronic enrollment isn’t the best way.  Perhaps there is language barriers or employees are in a “low-tech” industry.  Transamerica, for example, has a pre-populated paper application enrollment option that does away with any online or web-based election process.  This process works best when all staff are present at one time, the paper applications are passed out, the rates are included (per-paycheck), there are little to no health questions to answer, so elections are simple and easy to make.  The applications are collected, the enrollment options entered into an Excel spreadsheet and returned to payroll. 

Post-Enrollment

Enrollment platforms make enrolling new hires a breeze.  We take the initial enrollment communication tools and shift from “open enrollment” to “new hire” and your newly hired employees will be able to enroll in the same benefits your existing employees had offered to them during their eligibility period.  This is a very important process as you want your new hires to value their new employer, be able to get the same underwriting offers (such as guarantee issue) and get the coverage they need without waiting till open enrollment.

View, reconcile and pay your invoices online from the carriers selected.  Elite-VB will always be available to assist with any billing discrepancies from the initial return data feed to each new hire through Open Enrollment.  Tracking any updates to deduction amounts for policies that fail to issue or have an adjustment to the premium.

All carriers now have online support for policyholders to file claims and wellness benefits.  Our goal is to ensure your employees know how to easily connect with the claims and our local office in Hawaii is here to assist as well.

Receive a summary of your employees’ enrollment elections via Excel with secure data exchange platforms.  With some carriers, payroll only needs to send in the deductions that were taken and that report sent (proactively) to the carrier and in return they take care of reconciling the report and no Excel is needed.  With platforms, complicated and inaccurate deduction reports are a thing of the past, as well as enrollments with 100% guaranteed issue as there are no lingering underwriting issues that change the deduction AFTER payroll is in process…how great is that?

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Case Study

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Enrollment Date:  Q4 2016                   

ClientAlaska Native Corporation      

# of Employees:  1700 with 1400 in Lower 48 spread out over 32 states. Over three payroll cycles with half of the employees on the East Coast

CHALLENGE:   This large, multi-state company had decided to offer voluntary benefits through their benefit broker, but the initial enrollment (2015) was unsuccessful.  Due to minimal benefit communications, less than 10% of the employees participated in the voluntary benefits.  The plan was also out of compliance as many of the employees in states other than Alaska had no idea the benefits were even offered.  Company was also looking to find one carrier to provide their employer-paid Group Term Life (GTL) and voluntary with an enrollment that would be easy and online as many employees were highly paid and were spread out in 32 states (two-thirds on the East Coast).

We held weekly meetings with HR & Payroll 2 months prior to the start of the enrollment mapping out the enrollment.  Through an in-depth pre-enrolment campaign, we replaced UNUM nationwide with three divisions, 26 sub-divisions, three pay cycles, 27 states.  Launched a successful benefits communication campaign and improved the benefit offering from the prior group carrier (both in benefits and premium).  Took the burden off of HR to communicate the benefits and provided self-service and census enrolled components to achieve our results.

Voluntary Benefits Offered:  Group Short-Term Disability, Group Accident, Group Critical Illness, Employer-paid Life and Voluntary Life (all Guaranteed Issue and waiving pre-ex) as well as ID Theft (value-add – no cost to employee)

  • Initial Open Enrollment resulted in 50% participation by using three methods of enrollment; face-to-face, call center, self-enroll and co-browse.
  • Over 900 policies were sold (annual premium of around $788,000) in seven weeks
  • Carrier provided a custom Microsite/website for employees to go and enroll which contained benefit videos, PDF’s of the plan designs and links to submit wellness and other claims
  • Established an on-going new hire servicing program so all new hires were provided the benefits within their 30 days of employment with "GI"
  • No deduction report was sent to client – the carrier reconciled the invoice which avoided extra time spent by Payroll

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