Q&A: How Financial Advisors Can Prepare For Open Enrollment | Financial advisers
The open enrollment season presents a huge opportunity for financial advisors to add additional value to the client-advisor relationship.
As companies continue to postpone a formal return to power, many employees may soon begin their annual open enrollment for home health and retirement benefits.
At the same time, they will likely take a closer look at these benefits in the wake of COVID-19 – especially if they plan to join the mass of departures who have become the so-called “Great resignation. “
Employers today also offer a wider range of benefits, from traditional health insurance to more non-traditional student debt repayment. This could place a great deal of responsibility on financial professionals who could replace human resources departments as open enrollment guides this year.
To help advisors prepare to walk clients through the open enrollment process, we spoke with Rob Grubka, CEO of Health Solutions at Voya Financial, what finance professionals can expect this week. year. Here are edited excerpts from this interview.
How is the pandemic shaping the way customers approach open enrollment this year?
Fear of getting sick and possibly incurring costly medical bills is driving American workers to seek help – and many employees are increasingly turning to their employers.
As a result, many employees are beginning to understand the value of the benefits offered by their employer to help them protect the financial well-being of their household.
For example, if we take a look at lessons learned from last fall’s open enrollment period, a Voya consumer survey shows that nearly six in 10 American workers spent more time reviewing the benefits offered by their employer during their annual registration period. It’s certainly encouraging to see that employees didn’t just hit the default button on their benefit selections. But the challenge is, even after taking a closer look, many employees are still confused by their benefits.
And with many employers planning to make changes to their benefit plans this year due to the pandemic, that process likely won’t be easier in the fall. This represents a huge opportunity for finance professionals to help their clients navigate what can seem like a maze of benefit selections during open enrollment.
How should finance professionals guide clients who are considering changing jobs?
If there is one silver lining we can take from the pandemic, it is the changing appreciation of workplace benefits. In fact, a new Voya study finds that the majority of employed people – 68% – expect their benefits to play a more critical role in their future job selection.
The discovery comes at a time when a number of working Americans are voluntarily changing jobs, often referred to as “the big resignation,” as employers focus their efforts on attracting and retaining top talent.
But before a client considers changing jobs, finance professionals need to help them recognize the benefits available to them through their current employer and potentially a new employer.
For example, beyond basic benefits such as medical, dental and vision benefits, voluntary benefits – some of which are called supplemental health insurance – offered by your employer may offer you additional protection for specific covered events. Supplementary health insurance includes accident, critical illness and hospital insurance, to name but a few.
How Can Financial Professionals Help Clients Evaluate Health Plan Options?
Individuals are busy and often confused by their workplace benefits, so they default to the previous year’s benefit selections. However, employees must approach open enrollment with an open mind – especially in the lingering context of the pandemic – or they risk overpaying for their benefits.
Ultimately, when it comes to choosing the best health plan, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. But it’s important to keep an open mind and ask questions, which is where a financial professional can be especially helpful.
What other steps should finance professionals take to prepare clients for enrollment season?
One of the biggest mistakes clients make when preparing for an open listing is not giving it proper attention.
Contact them in early fall to get them thinking. And with many employees still working from home, and return-to-office plans delayed for a number of companies, video conferencing technologies are making it easier than ever to engage and connect with your customers.
Being able to see someone’s virtual work environment and meet pets or children opens the door to a more personal connection. Plus, your clients will likely appreciate the help in starting to consider their benefit options early on.
This will give them the opportunity to ask questions and help them select their benefits with confidence during what is shaping up to be another unprecedented open registration season.