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2023 Open Enrollment Could Be the Most Challenging We Have Experienced

on October 13, 2022

Employees Will Need More Support to Navigate Changes in Benefits

Rising inflation is driving the need for employees to fully evaluate their financial decisions. Many employees will be looking to change their benefits selections during this year’s open enrollment process. With change comes more questions for the company’s benefits and total rewards professionals.

During open enrollment in 2021, employees spent an average of six additional minutes on their decision-making, according to a study released by Aon. The trend will continue in 2023. A recent study from Voya Financial found that 70 percent of employees plan to spend more time reviewing their benefits selections during open enrollment to help make the most of their benefit dollars in an era of rising inflation. This additional level of scrutiny means more questions will be asked of benefits administrators.

“If we look at lessons learned from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not surprising that American workers are once again turning to a trusted source for guidance and support — their employers,” says Rob Grubka, CEO of Health Solutions at Voya Financial. “And, with the fall open enrollment season approaching for millions of Americans, it’s encouraging to see that workers intend to carve out more time to focus on reviewing all the workplace benefits offered by their employers to help optimize every hard-earned dollar.”

Andrew Frend, SVP of Strategy and Product for Voya Health Solutions observed that Americans clearly need help dealing with inflation and managing costs. “For employers and benefits providers, this presents a tremendous opportunity to work together to help simplify and personalize the annual enrollment experience so employees can act with confidence in how they allocate their next dollar,” explained Frend.

Leveraging AI to Manage the 2023 Open Enrollment Surge of Inquiries

Many employers have turned to MeBeBot, an AI-driven chatbot, to provide immediate and accurate answers to employees during this open enrollment period –and to help them have a trusted source of up-to-date information.  Providing access to rapid and accurate answers (24 hours a day from home or in the office) is a relief to many employees that review their benefit options after work hours, with their family members.

MeBeBot customers use our AI Intelligent Assistant for open enrollment, from providing benefit answers to employees before and during open enrollment to sending “Push Messages” to remind employees to sign up for benefit changes before open enrollment deadlines. Some customers use our Pulse Surveys to gain quick feedback from employees to gauge their understanding of any changes and to surface any challenges employees may have during these troubling times.

MeBeBot has over 60 curated open enrollment and benefits questions in its knowledge base, covering about 70-80% of employees’ most typical questions asked about medical, dental, and vision benefits as well as additional life insurance, disability, and even optional benefits (like pet insurance, fertility. Benefits, etc.).

The best part of all is that customers can use the open enrollment questions and tools without additional training or using yet another “new tool” for just a once-a-year process. According to Kelly Eredini, Customer Service Manager for MeBeBot, most open enrollment content is covered by the portal training provided when customers begin using MeBeBot. This includes updating answers, sending out Push Messages, and conducting short Pulse Surveys, which can be done throughout the year, not just open enrollment.

In addition, MeBeBot customers can target messaging to specific employee groups. Kelly explains, “For example, during open enrollment customers can send a push message reminder to employees who have not completed 2023 benefit selections of the deadline or to support employees who have selected a specific benefit that now requires additional action.”   We cannot use this image…it would not make sense.

MeBeBot can link to videos and summary plan descriptions and highlight your critical open enrollment talking points via push messaging directly to employees within their workflow (Teams, Slack or Webchat). Employers can also create interactive communications to highlight employees’ stories about how they have utilized your benefits programs to make a difference in their lives. In addition, you could supplement the instructions to enroll in benefits with a video walking them through the process visually.  

MeBeBot’s knowledge base of 360+ questions includes Placeholder functionality that enables you to review and update your company’s specific answers in just seconds. For example, if you change providers, you can update your answers in one place to include the new vendor names immediately or you can even schedule the change to go live on the appropriate date in the future.

The Open Enrollment tag pinpoints the relevant content for review and updating, saving countless hours that would be spent managing disparate sources of information.

Let Technology Handle the Easy Work so Humans Can Handle the Hard Stuff

Ultimately, when MeBeBot is answering commonly asked open enrollment questions, your benefits administrators will be freed up to do more strategic work and save them endless work hours.

2023 open enrollment will see more confused and concerned employees, asking questions during inflationary times as employees try to stretch their benefit dollars. Employers have an opportunity to be a reliable and trusted source of easy-to-access information to alleviate uncertainty and stress. MeBeBot provides an easy-to-install (in 2-6 weeks), inexpensive platform to reliably answer employee questions and check on their process 24-7.

Have a Pumpkin Spice Latte on Us!

It’s not too late to get started and have a positive impact on your 2023 process. Many of our customers are up and running in just weeks. Take a step toward a smoother open enrollment process and look at MeBeBot today.

About MeBeBot   

MeBeBot’s AI Intelligent Assistant, recently selected as a “Brilliant Bot” in the Slack App Directory, seamlessly installs in Teams, Slack, or web portals to provide employees with instant automated answers to global HR, IT, and Ops FAQS. It also provides real-time usage Dashboards, Push Messaging, and custom Pulse Surveys, generating instant employee feedback on of-the-moment questions. MeBeBot’s “one-stop bot” is trusted by leading organizations to elevate the employee experience so work can be more meaningful and valuable.    

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