Many employers chose to allow employees to self-enroll in benefits because they feel it lets employees enroll on their own timetable, without feeling rushed or pressured.  The truth is, self-enroll options often open the door for procrastination and confusion.  Employees wait to the last minute to make a decision and often do so without a proper understanding of the options they have or the choices they have made.   Here are the three biggest challenges companies face when employees self-enroll.

1. Explaining the Enrollment Process

Depending on the program you’re using, the enrollment process may not be easy. If the user interface isn’t intuitive, people may be confused about where to go online, how to sign in and how to choose their desired plans. To combat confusion, it’s essential that employees have a helpline they can access to answer any questions they have about the process.

2. Getting Everyone Onboard

When everyone can do things at their own pace, it’s inevitable that there will be stragglers. This can be detrimental to employees who miss the deadline, as they may not have the health plans and other benefits they need for the coming year. You can’t enroll for them, but you can encourage people to complete the process on time by sending out reminders as the deadline nears and having defined enrollment times for employees.

3. Making Benefit Details Understandable

Many times, benefits packages — especially medical plans — can be difficult to understand for those unfamiliar with the jargon. This can delay enrollment, as employees are unsure which plans best suit their needs. Definitions of unfamiliar terms can give individuals the confidence they need to make decisions. You may also want to include an FAQ page for terms or benefits that require longer explanations.  But the best solution is to have an enroller onsite to help employees understand the benefit options and make the appropriate selections.

It’s clear that enrolling in benefits isn’t as simple as it may seem, but there are simple and effective ways to help people through the process.  Having the right partners, systems and communication strategy will ensure your employees get the most out of the benefits you provide.