It's challenging during an ordinary open enrollment period to get employees to take an active interest in their health care benefits. But, from each cycle, we learn a little more about how to educate employees so they feel confident to choose the benefits that are the best fit for them, their families and their future. Nothing, however, has ever affected employers' approach to open enrollment like the COVID-19 pandemic.

To support remote employees and promote social distancing, employers were forced to try different tactics last year. Webinars, virtual fairs and email communications were in. Printed handouts were out. Whether we liked it or not, those of us in the benefits industry – from consultants and brokers to administrators and technology providers – took a crash course in what works and what doesn't for today's workers. And we did this while moving our own employees to work-from-home, adopting new, virtual client engagement methods, and acting quickly to help employers interpret and adopt new benefits-related regulations included in relief legislation, such as the CARES Act.

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