If you’ve ever addressed a large group of people, you knowit can be difficult—if not impossible—to connect with everyone inthe room. Look over the crowd and you’ll see people checking theirsmartphones, discussing the weather … the potential distractionsare limitless.


So, when it comes to benefits enrollment, do group meetingswork? Maybe, maybe not. While traditional group enrollment meetingsare common, participation in voluntary plans industry wide could bebetter. Fundamentally, achieving higher participation is a toughnut to crack. That's why I’d like to take another look atone-on-one enrollment options and why they can be more effectivewhen done right. Let's take a closer look.


As employers shift more of the cost of insurance to employees,enrollment in voluntary plans is an increasingly higher priority.But employees may encounter hurdles in making insurance choices.After all, insurance is complex and terminology can be foreign.People are looking for advice—and they don't want a sales pitch.They want specific, relevant details, not generic informationgeared toward the masses. People want simple.


One-on-one enrollment generates a better result for everyoneinvolved: the employee, the employer and the advisor. Sure, itrequires a larger investment of time and energy (though much ofthat can be ceded to the insurance carrier), but consider thebenefits of the one-on-one enrollment experience:

  • It's a needs-based approach that can be personalized to theemployee.

  • It can help the employee understand the type of insurancecoverage needed, and how much.

  • The private, confidential setting allows the employee to askquestions specific to their situation.

  • Because of the trusted relationship that develops with thecounselor, the employee will likely feel reassured and moreconfident about their choices.

  • The counselor can help the employee with forms and onlineenrollment.

  • One-on-one meetings have less of an impact on productivitycompared to group meetings that stop production.

  • Because employees are given time to meet with a counselor, theydevelop a greater appreciation for their employer.

As an advisor, you benefit, as well. Enrollment counselors canfill a gap when you don't have the resources to deploy asenrollers. And if salaried counselors are utilized, employees feelless pressure to purchase insurance they don't need. The end resultis higher satisfaction for both employers and employees, and youretain the full commission.


Do one-on-one enrollment meetings crack the nut in gettinghigher participation? The simple answer is yes. In my experience,typically 60 percent of employees buy some type of coverage througha one-on-one enrollment experience, compared with less than 50percent from standard enrollment. That's significant. And, while itmay only appear to be a small crack, it translates to highercommission levels and satisfied customers who come back to addother benefits over time.

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