Blue Shield of California
COVID-19 Resource Center for Employers, Plan Sponsors, Brokers and Consultants

B2B General

November 12, 2020 - 3 min read

Open for Business: Conducting open enrollment during COVID-19

Our virtual resources can help your employees make informed decisions.


During open enrollment your employees will make important decisions regarding health benefits that will help protect the well-being of their families.

While recent studies suggest that employees take as little as fifteen minutes to choose their benefits, the pandemic will likely force a closer look at what your company plan has to offer.

Take advantage of our virtual resources

For many businesses, this year's open enrollment period will take place entirely online.

The Blue Shield of California open enrollment page is a great supplement to the materials you will present to your employees.

Also, our health care calculator can provide an accurate estimate of what employees can anticipate their premium and out-of-pocket costs might be based on the options they select.

Be sure that you explain to your employees that the most important factor in choosing a plan is not necessarily the cost of their monthly premiums, but whether or not the plan meets their needs.

Over time, a plan with a higher premium may reduce the financial burden on employees who are managing one or more chronic conditions.

Offer clarity on COVID-19 questions

Some employees will ask for clarity about what, if any, health coverage protections are available for themselves or their loved ones if they contract the coronavirus.

Even with over 900,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California, coverage for screening, testing, and treatment is not always clear.

However, it’s important that employees know that Blue Shield of California is waiving out-of-pocket copays for COVID-19 screenings, testing, and treatment under a provider order. Copays for virtual consultations will also be waived through December 31, 2020.

Make open dialogue a priority

The economic fallout from COVID-19 has forced business owners and employees to adapt to new economic realities. Many employees may be especially anxious this year about the choices they’ll have to make for themselves and their loved ones. A comprehensive communication plan for open enrollment is more important than ever to enable informed decisions.

As remote working has become normalized, a webcast could be a great way to raise awareness about what employees should be mindful of during this enrollment period to maximize their coverage benefits and protect their financial well-being.

Also, consider sending regular email reminders to staff members with information that can help them make smarter benefit choices. Our health care definitions page is a great resource for explaining  some of the most common benefit terms.

No matter how you choose to communicate with your employees, it’s important to recognize that this open enrollment period will be more challenging than any in recent memory.

Despite some difficulties, the 2020 open enrollment period can be most effectively managed when your employees feel that they are appreciated, understood, and supported.

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