As health plans and insurance companies prepare for the upcoming surge of another open-enrollment season, it is vital for them to have an effective staffing structure in place. This involves identifying their employment needs and establishing how their workforce can function best. Here are some tips for devising a smart staffing structure to prepare for open enrollment.
Assess Your Staffing Requirements To Build a Sufficient Workforce
The main consideration of a smart staffing structure is having enough personnel to meet organizational goals and operational demands. The surge of open enrollment introduces an increased workload because of the seasonal rise in demand for health coverage services, so a larger workforce is crucial.
To determine what constitutes enough staff, an organization must analyze its existing workforce and identify gaps. Part of this gap analysis involves examining tasks and workflows, qualifying the value of every role, and predicting the anticipated needs during the open-enrollment period.
Staffing structure also relates to the arrangement of an organization’s departments. Part of that arrangement has to do with hierarchy. A well-established chain of command helps with problem-solving and decision-making by clarifying who is in charge of each process. An enrollment supervisor, for example, would be responsible for any issues directly involving their team of enrollment specialists, whereas other supervisors would oversee only their respective functional areas. In turn, each of these supervisors should clearly delineate the responsibilities of their team members and separate tasks according to individual strengths.
This structure allows each member of the organization to focus on their wheelhouse, eliminating confusion and maximizing efficiency.
Proper training is indispensable if every staff member is to support the organization. The workforce should receive a thorough education on the plans and services available to clients. With a deep understanding of these offerings, anyone in the organization can provide accurate answers to customer questions and other helpful information to guide their choices. Organizations should consider providing training on new technologies as well, particularly for client-facing roles.
Have a Dedicated Team for Problem-Solving
When client self-service isn’t feasible, a dedicated team of problem-solving representatives is the answer. The members of this team should have the appropriate knowledge and skills for handling complex client inquiries. Having them on-site improves the customer experience by reducing the risk of delays and attendant frustrations on the client’s end. A highly skilled team can identify trends in customer inquiries to proactively address potential issues before they arise.
Designing and implementing an intelligent staffing structure is challenging. To overcome the difficulty, many organizations elect to outsource the process entirely. Far from a one-size-fits-all solution, outsourcing staffing activities to a trusted partner gives health plans and insurance companies the flexibility to meet their unique needs while streamlining the process on their end.
Ease isn’t the only reason why outsourcing is such an attractive option. A skilled staffing partner also helps health organizations enjoy numerous benefits, such as:
- Budget efficiency: With a staffing partner at work for them, an organization has no need to inflate its human resources efforts to identify, attract, and hire great talent.
- Speed: For a staffing agency, placing talent at the right organization is a full-time endeavor. The agency takes care of all the screening, interviewing, and training, allowing the health organization to focus on its operations.
- Flexibility: The full-time nature of staffing work also allows the agency to place additional talent at an organization should staffing needs increase. That scalability ensures appropriate staffing volume.
- High-quality talent: Staffing agencies work from a tremendous pool of candidates. An agency with expertise in the health insurance sphere is capable of supplying an organization with highly qualified individuals, even for hard-to-fill roles.
Adequate staffing, division of responsibilities, proper training, and a dedicated problem-solving team all contribute to a well-structured staffing strategy. Providing these parameters to a capable staffing partner allows a health organization to prepare for open enrollment without missing a beat on its day-to-day obligations.
To learn more, read our guide for best practices on managing a busy open enrollment season in 2023.