What is the best method for enrolling voluntary products? The simple answer is the one that gets the best results for the lowest cost. If that’s true, then the real answer to the question changes with the specifics of each enrollment.
Some might say face-to-face enrollments are best and, in many situations, this may be true. But if you’re enrolling only one simple product—say a voluntary AD&D plan—is face-to-face really needed? Probably not. That’s because you may be spending a lot more for the enrollment than is really needed with only minimal (if any) improvements in the participation results.
This is just as inappropriate as producers who always use self-enrollment for their voluntary cases. Some cases just aren’t suited for self-enrollment. And what about the current trend toward Internet enrollments? Some people have bought into this as the latest and greatest only to be disappointed with the results.
So, how do you determine the best method to use? Basically, there should be four inputs into your decision:
The product(s) being enrolled
The dynamics of the account
What working conditions you can get from the employer
The enrollment platform needed
Let’s talk about the first two of these inputs (we’ll address the last two in our next article).
Start your decision-making process by considering common questions about the products (see right for specifics).
Then you can begin to craft an enrollment strategy. For example, if the enrollment is a voluntary dental plan (a product that the public generally is familiar with and for which participation is generally pretty high), then group meetings and customized enrollment materials with either paper enrollment or online employee self-enroll will be enough.
On the other hand, let’s assume that the enrollment is for a critical illness product. The product is not something employees understand nor do they know where it might fit into their own insurance portfolio, so a group meeting with one-on-ones may be the best way to ensure a successful enrollment. This type of enrollment (for an unfamiliar product) also suggests that several pre-enrollment communications which present the needs addressed by the product would be beneficial.
Next you can start asking questions about the account itself. Think about:
What types of individuals are employed by that employer?
Are they technically savvy or not?
Do they have access to computers at work?
Are all the employees in one location or are there multiple locations that must be enrolled?
Again, by thinking about these questions you can begin to eliminate or narrow down your strategy. Obviously if the employees at the account don’t have easy access to a computer or are not technically savvy, an Internet enrollment would not be ideal. However, if they are in multiple locations and use computers every day, it might be a viable option.
We will address the two other inputs next month and show how considering all the options and the enrollment specifics can help you design an enrollment strategy that is effective from both a results as well as a cost/resources standpoint.