Jumpstart Your 2021 Employee Health Benefits With Off-Cycle Enrollment

Mike Zarrillo
January 20, 2021

by Mike Zarrillo, Chief Revenue Officer, Ansel Insurance | January 20, 2021

In the midst of the economic uncertainty of 2020, many businesses hesitated to make major changes to their employee health benefits programs for the 2021 plan year. With employees deferring certain healthcare services to 2021 and the pandemic raging on, we're entering a year when the ongoing risks and pent up demand for healthcare have never been higher.

For the average family with a deductible and cost-sharing responsibilities, that means medical bills are in the not-too-distant future. Are your employees prepared for that?

Naturally, the coronavirus pandemic has intensified these financial concerns for employees — especially those who reviewed their employee benefits and made elections months ago. They may be unprepared to manage the cost-sharing required by their health plan if they have an unexpected health issue in 2021.

Will you leave them in this situation until 2022?

Rather than waiting, smart benefits advisors and employers are making changes now to improve their employer-sponsored health benefits. Here’s why:

1. Financially stressed employees are less productive.

An illness or injury can happen at any time, and until the majority of our communities are vaccinated, COVID-19 continues to pose a threat. As the year unfolds and the pandemic continues, employees may realize that they selected a plan during the 2020 health insurance enrollment period that leaves them too financially exposed should they need healthcare. Some employees may already have medical bills stacking up, and their financial stress makes them less productive and more likely to be absent from work. 

Smart employers are recognizing this need and working with their brokers to identify solutions, even if it means introducing a new benefit outside of the annual open enrollment period.

2. New benefits can prevent or alleviate financial stress.

Unfortunately, financial stress among employees is real. In fact, 50% of U.S. adults fear bankruptcy due to a major health event. That's a heartbreaking statistic but one that can be addressed with new benefits designed to prevent or alleviate financial stress.

Ansel's supplemental health insurance plan is one example. Our simple supplemental plan pays cash on diagnosis for any of the 13,000+ covered conditions. It's designed to help ease the burden of the up-front out-of-pocket costs families must pay with most health insurance plans. 

In addition, financial tools such as HSAs and salary-linked loans can help employees avoid going into debt or borrow responsibly if necessary. Salary-linked loans, such as those from Salary Finance, can even help employees improve their credit so they can finish 2021 in a better financial position. 

3. Off-cycle enrollment can lead to better employee engagement.

Without the noise that comes with the annual open enrollment period, introducing a new employee benefit off-cycle gives employees a better opportunity to learn about the benefit and make a decision that works best for their situation. Plus, a new benefit that starts off-cycle means employees will already be familiar with the program come next Open Enrollment. 

Ansel was built to make enrollment a snap no matter what time of year you introduce us to your team. Our standalone enrollment platform, Ansel Enroll, provides an end-to-end online education and enrollment experience. In just a few clicks, employees can learn how Ansel works and personalize their benefits to meet their individual needs.

Ansel makes off-cycle enrollment easy.

Adding Ansel off-cycle gives your employees the opportunity to supplement their health benefits at a time when the risks have never been higher. What's more, our supplemental health insurance plan standardly covers many conditions related to COVID-19*, such as pneumonia, respiratory distress, and respiratory failure. That brings peace of mind so employees can focus on doing their best work.

Health-related benefits are valued above all other employee benefits, so an easy-to-use supplemental health insurance plan will support your employee retention efforts. Don’t let “we missed the open-enrollment window” stand in the way of providing benefits that employees will appreciate. It's never the wrong time to bring employees much-needed peace of mind. Instead of waiting, strengthen your employee benefits package with off-cycle enrollment in a robust supplemental health plan that meets employees' needs now when they need it most.

If you'd like to learn more about Ansel, have your broker get in touch with us at sales@joinAnsel.com today.

*Please note that a COVID-19 diagnosis is not a covered condition. However, as described above, associated medical conditions may be covered.