What To Do If An Employee Misses The Annual Open Enrollment Period

How A “Candy Man” Got Help Getting His Workers to Make Their Benefit Elections on Time

Oompa Loompa! Time is running out! The Annual Open Enrollment deadline is fast approaching and half of the employees at the Chocolate Factory may not successfully enroll on time. Oh, fudge! Well, here’s the thing, Willy Wonka used his pure imagination and offered coverage to his production team, but they need to understand their options and that this is the only point during the year that they can make changes to their benefit elections or enroll for the first time. And that’s not the only thing eating at the eccentric chocolatier.  His workers may need to switch plans and add or drop more dependents, but they’re cutting it close. In fact, the word on the street is that some of their sweettarts have cinna-buns in the oven. What a sticky situation!

Okay, so these guys need to stop spending so much time down at the candy bar guzzling fizzy drinks when they’re on break and address their benefit plans. F.Y.I. Charlie has gum-dropped several emails in their inboxes warning them of the dangerous situation they may be in. See, aside from hazardous pipes and fans in the factory, missing the vital deadline can have serious consequences for these workers, including loss of coverage or the inability to change coverage options. For Willy, it can result in added administrative burdens and unhappy or unproductive employees. So, when will these green haired guys realize that this is no laffy taffy matter?

No worries for Willy, Achieve Financial Group is on our way down the chocolate river to put a gobstopper in these delays and help him communicate potential consequences. Look, we hate to be sour balls, but we need to get his workers take the open enrollment deadline more seriously. Now, if an employee misses the deadline:

• Employers are not required to do anything for these employees and may be prohibited from making exceptions for those who have not made benefit elections within a certain time period.

• Exceptions can be made if this employee qualifies for a special enrollment period (SEP), which can happen if the employee is experiencing a life-changing event like marriage, divorce, adoption or relocation.

• Employers that are applicable large employers (ALEs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) must offer affordable, minimum-essential coverage to their full-time employees or potentially face the employer shared responsibility penalty.

Sure, it’s a lot to chew on, but before we wrap up, if you’re an employer and you have these open enrollment deadline issues, don’t blow up like a blueberry. Get in your wonkavator and go exercise these helpful tips on your employees:

• Offer opportunities for education
• Regularly ask for feedback
• Make time for employees who missed open enrollment

Now, it’s time for us to get back to our own financial factory, but feel free to stop by and get more ooey gooey ideas on how to handle missed open enrollment. Just contact Achieve Financial Group and get the “real” prize! Call (800) 278-8994 and visit us on the web at www.achievefinancialgroup.com.