Supercharge Your 2020 Open Enrollment Season With Financial Wellbeing Benefits

Open Enrollment will soon be upon us. With the state of the world today, it’s essential that employees make the right choices to protect themselves and their families for the coming year (or longer). 

Many employers think of workplace financial wellbeing in the post-paycheck sense: spending, saving, budgeting, and staying out of debt. However, Open Enrollment is when the pre-paycheck money magic happens. Are you leveraging financial wellbeing to educate your employees about their benefits? Help employees – both active and furloughed – feel financially empowered about the big benefits decisions ahead by engaging all employees this fall. Here’s what to look for in a financial wellbeing program that will really move the needle during the upcoming 2020 Open Enrollment season.


1. Scale your benefits education with digital financial wellbeing tools

Let’s get one thing clear right away: your employees likely know even less about health insurance than you think they do. A recent Policygenius survey revealed only 4% of Americans can define the four major health insurance terms properly (the terms were deductible, co-insurance, co-pay, and out-of-pocket).

As a benefits professional, you only have so much time in the day to dedicate to this type of education. That’s where offering financial wellbeing education and tools comes in. Holistic financial wellbeing programs work to break down the ins and outs of open enrollment, from the highest level (how do deductibles really work?) to the nitty gritty (do I need an HSA, FSA, or both?).

So much of an employee’s financial life is tied into the benefits provided by their employer. Prioritize for programs that factor in these big decisions, to protect employees’ health and wealth through Open Enrollment and beyond.


2. Look for education that’s jargon free, and goes beyond cost comparisons

Most open enrollment info is littered with insurance jargon and intimidating acronyms — so it’s no wonder that most employees will focus on what they think they understand: the cost.

By only looking at price, your employees are missing out on the whole point of open enrollment: maximizing their gains and minimizing loss in the long run by making smart decisions in the present.

One of the greatest challenges you may face this year is in educating each of your employees about what policy is right for them, and why they shouldn’t just focus on what they’re losing each month from their paycheck. By starting the communication process early this year, you can get ahead of that last minute “check-the-middle-box” crunch. With a financial wellbeing program on your side, employees will understand not just the “how much” but the “what and why” when it comes to their benefits.


3. Pick a Financial Wellbeing program with human Advisors to provide one-on-one guidance

During stressful times, many employees want to talk to an expert about their specific situation. Open enrollment during a global pandemic? Yeah, that might generate some new, and challenging questions this year. That’s where Financial Advisors come in, to help build financial resilience for both your active and furloughed employee populations.

Your benefits team is too busy, and often not professionally qualified to answer many of the questions your employees have about their financial situation and benefits. Offer your employees the opportunity to chat online, ask questions in an email, or set up a phone or video call with a financial professional. By offering access to financial guidance well before Open Enrollment begins, you can build trust and drive engagement for your new, valuable program.

Choose a financial wellbeing program that offers Financial Advisors that are Certified Financial PlannerⓇs (aka CFPⓇs) to ensure the guidance they provide is credible, unbiased & always in the employee’s best interest.


4. Look to add support where it’s needed most (instead of cutting benefits programs)

Budgets are tight, and some employers may be looking to reduce benefits. We encourage you instead to look at where you can add value to your workforce and see tangible ROI for your organization. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, employers can see a return of $3 for every $1 spent on financial wellbeing programs. Think of the turnover cost of an employee who jumps ship for a small pay raise because they don’t have a handle on their budget. Or, the hours of productivity for an employee who’s receiving harassing phone calls from a debt collector.

Even employers who previously didn’t prioritize voluntary benefits like life insurance, disability insurance, legal services or financial coaching are starting to reconsider. That’s because they’re seeing a need and deciding to take action.


When your team members are equipped with a strong understanding of their own benefits, they can start to view these benefits for what they are: an opportunity to be proactive about their own health and to be proactive about their own financial goals.

Understanding the costs of their health, both in the short term and the long term, will allow your team members to plan into the future rather than living in fear of the financial consequences of that surprise trip to the hospital.


Brin Chartier is the Director of Marketing at LearnLux. Financial Wellness for the Modern Workplace.  She can be contacted via email at [email protected] To learn more about LearnLux, visit http://www.learnlux.com/

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