Allison Hutton

Planning a Benefits Fair: What Employers Need to Know

When providing information to employees about your health care benefits, planning a benefits fair may seem like an unnecessary allocation of time and resources. However, a well-planned event can leave employees feeling informed and confident in the decisions they are making about their health care plans. This can actually be a fairly simple process, provided there is some planning ahead of time.

Plan Smart

When planning a benefits fair, employers should choose a date about six months out. Chron suggests selecting a date that won’t conflict with holidays or company events. Sending a memo to employees that there will be no meeting scheduled during the fair will ensure everyone will have an opportunity to attend. Assess where the fair will be located, allowing for plenty of room for employees and health care representatives.

Reach Out for Help

Contact your broker or representative and inform them of your plans for the benefits fair. Request that they send a few knowledgeable representatives that can spend time with employees, answering questions and providing information. Employees will gain better insight as to what options are available to them, ensuring they make informed decisions when it comes to health and wellness.

Offer Incentives to Attend

Even with the company calendar cleared, it’s important to get your employees excited about the health benefits fair. While there are obvious benefits to having a better understanding of your options related to health care and wellness, some employees may choose to skip the fair. In Anthem’s Checklist for a Successful Wellness Fair, it’s noted that participation rates can increase up to 80 percent when cash incentives are offered. Make sure your employees know about incentives that you are offering and consider other small incentives (such as gift cards, paid time off, etc.) that can be offered at random times of the event.

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Plan Activities That Encourage Participation

In addition to offering informational sessions for employees, adding fun activities and opportunities can further encourage participation in the benefits fair. Some ideas include:

  • A local chef/nutritionist demonstrating healthy lunch ideas
  • A chair massage
  • Provide a no-cost, healthy lunch to participants

The purpose of planning a benefits fair is to get employees active in their own health and well-being. Allowing representatives who are familiar with every aspect of a benefit will ensure that your employees can choose the benefits that are best for their specific situations. If your workforce is informed, they are more likely to experience a smooth enrollment period.

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