Pub. 5 Issue 4


Ask Alison

Q: How does my dealership have a successful Open Enrollment for our employees during COVID?

A: The key to a successful enrollment is effective employee communication. Employees must have the resources to learn about the value of their benefits and options, any potential plan changes or plan additions and coverage details. Many dealerships begin communicating with employees well in advance of Open Enrollment to allow employees ample time to learn about benefit offerings, ask questions and consult with their families, so they are prepared to make the best benefit decisions possible.

Q: How do I ensure my dealership’s employees appreciate and understand our benefits if Open Enrollment looks different this year?

A: A recent study shows that up to half of employees do not understand their benefits or perceive value in them, despite the major investment dealerships make in employee benefits. Frequently sending small amounts of benefits information using new technology (such as videos and mobile apps) will lead to a greater understanding of the value of the benefits you offer. In addition to technology — one-on-one enrollment (either in person with new protocols or virtual), payroll stuffers, breakroom posters and other traditional types of communication can help.

Q: My dealership may want to introduce additional, lower-cost plan options this year. How do we drive enrollment to these plans and ensure employees understand the benefits?

A: Individuals can take full advantage of benefits only if they understand what options are available and how they work. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) require additional targeted communication to avoid confusion and encourage participation in these plans. Employees who understand their coverage options and feel empowered make better informed, cost-effective health care decisions.

Q: How does our dealership make the Open Enrollment process successful during this time?

A: The easier the enrollment process is for employees, the more successful your Open Enrollment will be. If possible, work with your insurance consultant or enrollment platform.

  • If still using paper, consider implementing a benefits administration system. If you use paper this year, make paper forms as easy as possible to understand and reduce the required information.
  • Ensure the enrollment website is easy to navigate and includes links to more detail if needed, such as on eligibility and HDHP, HSA and FSA rules.
  • Ensure all up-to-date compliance documents are posted.

Carefully thought out and prepared benefit communications can help engage employees, steer enrollment, increase perceived value and lead to a successful enrollment season.

EPIC can help your dealership navigate Open Enrollment with the new challenges facing you and your HR team due to COVID-19. EPIC ranks among the top 15 retail insurance brokers in the United States and is the largest insurer of auto dealers in the state. Alison McCallum has been in the employee benefits industry for over 20 years. She is a principal with EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants, the only CNCDA licensed broker. With this partnership, EPIC offers unique services available to GLANCDA dealer members at no cost. If you have questions or would like further information, please feel free to contact her at (949) 417-9136 or

This story appears in Issue 4 2020 of the Los Angeles Dealer Magazine.

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