After surviving last year’s open enrollment in the midst of the pandemic, fewer than 1% of agencies expect to not do any business digitally this open enrollment (OE) season. Are you part of that club? (Psst: You don’t want to be.) This past July, brokers and other agency staff throughout the U.S. shared their thoughts during our annual open enrollment survey. You can check out these exclusive open enrollment insights in The 2021 Digital Broker’s Open Enrollment Readiness Report available now.
Most agencies understand the need to be flexible and digital to meet their clients’ evolving expectations. Especially in a heated job market feeling the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, employers want game-changing solutions for engaging their current employees and attracting future ones.
Here’s a sneak peek at six of our exclusive findings to help you prepare for open enrollment in our next normal.
Pandemic-era Novelties Become the Norm
A whopping three-quarters of agencies have changed the way they do business after last year. Zoom takes the trophy for the most-used client communication tool at 81.6%, and nearly 45% of agencies conduct most of their business remotely.
For employers, work-from-home and flexible schedules require nimble services and service providers. Which means they expect the same from their brokers. From self-serve tools to transparent communication, your clients need to be able to manage their benefits and other HR processes with a few clicks instead of a stack of papers and a game of phone tag.
- 75.88% of agencies have changed the way they do business after 2020.
- 44.89% of agencies mostly conduct business remotely because their clients have evolved to a flexible or permanent work-from-home structure.
- 84.38% of agencies pitch benefits administration technology when going after new business.
- 43% of agencies note the ability to conduct business digitally was a driving factor in winning new business.
Brokers like you are leaning into these new expectations, and almost 85% say they pitch benefits administration technology from the start when they go after new business. And bonus: 43% of agencies mention the ability to conduct business digitally was a driving factor in winning new business.
It’s pretty clear: Offering your clients a paperless open enrollment is no longer a pandemic-era novelty. It’s an expectation.
Your Clients Want More (& More)
Almost half of those surveyed reveal they are providing more and deeper services to their clients than ever before. Think beyond OE to include remote onboarding, compliance, payroll, and more. As a trusted advisor to your book of business, your clients expect you to lead the way and bring them solutions to gain a foothold against their competition.
- 48.24% of agencies offered more support to clients this year than last year by helping them onboard new hires online, conduct benefits elections remotely, and providing compliance support.
- 90.18% of agencies anticipate their groups wanting MORE insurance options this upcoming open enrollment season:
- 40.29% will offer more health insurance plan options
- 46.42% will offer more worksite benefits options (like accident, life, or critical illness)
- 29.86% will offer a telemedicine option
- 35.38% will offer mental health benefits
On the employee benefits side of things, more than 90% of those surveyed plan on offering more insurance options during this year’s open enrollment. This includes thoughtful additions for pandemic-weary employees like telemedicine and mental health benefits. Both attracting and retaining talent in this heated job market remain top of mind, and valuable extras like these help set your clients apart from the crowd.
More 2021 Open Enrollment Insights Available Now
Itching for more OE insights? Don’t wait — download your full copy of The 2021 Digital Broker’s Open Enrollment Readiness Report today.
The data in this report reflects survey results from 568 brokers, agency account managers, agency owners, and other agency staff selling group health insurance throughout the United States, regardless of their adoption of Ease. The following analysis uses this anonymized data collected throughout July 2021.