The Secret to a Smooth Open Enrollment Season

Just like that we are gearing up for another open enrollment season. The team at Focus OneSource is quickly approaching the busiest time of the year. And for many other industries, business owners are preparing to make their 2021 benefit selections. This is an important time of year. Benefits are very important for the majority of employees and help employers retain the best employees while remaining competitive in the job market. So, what is open enrollment?


Open enrollment is a period of time each year when individuals have the opportunity to make changes to their benefit plans. During the open enrollment period, employees’ have the ability to enroll in new benefits, change their current plans and coverage, or drop their coverage completely.


With most benefits, once an individual elects coverage, they are committed to that coverage until open enrollment rolls around again the next year. This means they are tied to the premium that goes along with the elected coverage for up to one year. That is, unless they have a qualifying event that could be seen as an exception to this rule. A qualifying event could include:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth
  • Adoption
  • Death

Employees who do not experience a qualifying event continue their elected coverage throughout the remainder of the coverage period.

Tip: Open enrollment is a great period to evaluate all benefit options. Individuals can weigh the pros and cons of each, assess their medical needs, the needs of their family, their financial health, etc. Taking time to thoroughly consider the options presented during open enrollment can help to eliminate any potential stress once elections are made.


Open enrollment doesn’t have to be stressful. Make open enrollment a breeze with these three tips.

1. Explore all of your options. It is wise to take time to understand the benefits that are being offered during each open enrollment. There is a good chance the health insurance choices have changed since the last enrollment period. Because most insurance options are a 12-month commitment, it is important to be sure you know what you are signing up for, the coverage you will be receiving, and the premium that is tied to the coverage.

2. Weigh the pros and cons. Just because you are eligible does not mean you must enroll in your employer sponsored benefits. Look into all of your options before committing to something. If you are married, compare your enrollment options with those of your spouse. Depending on the level of coverage and monthly premiums, you may want to switch to your spouse’s coverage or conversely, they may want to switch to your coverage.

3. Look beyond the monthly premium. Don’t let a higher monthly premium deter you from looking into all of your options. While a lower monthly premium is nice, often times a lower monthly premium comes along with a higher deductible and vice versa. With the higher monthly premium typically comes lower deductibles and more comprehensive coverage. There is no right or wrong choice, it depends on your personal preferences and needs.


At Focus OneSource, helping local businesses succeed is our business – during open enrollment and beyond. Focus OneSource is Iowa’s premier locally owned and operated Professional Employer Organization. We strive to provide our customers with the best experience and the most comprehensive suite of benefits. All at the most competitive prices. Our Fortune 500 caliber benefit suite includes:

Make open enrollment a breeze this year and every year with Focus OneSource on your side. Contact us today for a free quote of your business!