Annual Open Enrollment Services

Hodges-Mace® provides benefits education sessions during annual open enrollment to assist employees in making their single largest financial decision. Confident decisions from employees help employers increase satisfaction in benefits, which results in increased employee retention.

It’s Time to Remove The Mystery (and Misery) From Benefits Enrollment

Historically, enrollment has been a challenging process for both employees and employers. Most employees are confused by their benefit offerings, leading to uninformed decision making. In addition, many employers struggle to maintain a consistent enrollment process across their workforce. This can lead to dissatisfaction from the employee and rising costs for the employer.

At Hodges-Mace, a unique fusion of personal touch and powerful technology helps transform annual enrollment into a transparent, digestible and mutually beneficial process. Our team works closely with employers, insurance brokers and carriers to become subject matter experts on their specific benefits. Operating as a natural extension of your HR department – and using your preferred messaging and branding – we craft a well-rounded enrollment plan that leverages personalized 1:1 counseling sessions with licensed benefit counselors and a clear, efficient communications campaign. While we offer our own technology platform to support annual enrollment, SmartBen Essentials®, we can also develop a plan that works within your existing systems. Since 2004, Hodges-Mace has helped guide more than 1.5 million employees toward smarter decisions while increasing their understanding and appreciation of benefits.

How Can Annual Open Enrollment Services Work for You?

Educated Employees Lead to Better Decisions

When employees are provided with a guided annual enrollment, they receive explanations of their benefit offerings and answers to their benefit questions. By having the resource of a benefit counselor who is trained on their specific benefits, employees are given the most hands-on approach to enrollment. Through the enrollment session, employees make smarter decisions about their benefits, choosing plans that make the most sense for them at their particular life stage. These informed decisions can also help to lower your organization’s costs on healthcare, since employees will better understand the plans and use them appropriately.

Lean on Experts to Reduce Stress

Leveraging our annual enrollment services means HR teams can operate with confidence, secure in the knowledge that our experts have a firm grasp on their specific benefits. Hodges-Mace analysts examine every aspect of a client’s benefits before thoroughly preparing our contracted benefits counselors for their 1:1 sessions with an in-depth, two-day training course. Over the course of an eight-week project plan, we also ensure that everyone who touches your project is involved in our client-driven check-in calls.

Consistent Messaging for All Employees

Utilizing our detailed annual enrollment process, employers can find relief in knowing that every employee will receive the same enrollment experience. Specific questions that need to be answered, new HR offerings, and changes in benefits can all be examples of where consistency can get off track. With counselor-guided enrollment sessions, employers are able to determine their messaging with the help of our team. Whether you have multiple benefit classes, locations, or groups, our counselors are supplied with employer branded messaging and communication tools to deliver consistency to every employee.

Attract and Retain Top Talent

Ultimately, employee retention boils down to a simple formula: Employees will leave if they feel like employers don’t care about their well-being. Benefits play a crucial role in this equation. According to national surveys, employee satisfaction with benefits hovers around 30% - 40%, but those numbers jump to 80% - 90% with counseling services. By using a 1:1 enrollment approach, employees are guided through the enrollment process and making more educated decisions about their plans. This results in employees feeling great about their selected plans and the overall enrollment process.

Turn the Focus to Personal Attention

We stay at the leading edge of enrollment service providers by creating deeper, more robust strategies that employers and employees need alike. You need more than just a benefits binder that is handed to employees to prepare for annual enrollment. Hodges-Mace not only becomes your very own subject matter experts, we develop the necessary insight to deliver information in a meaningful way to employees, where benefits now have the opportunity to resonate. A 1:1 session takes a more intimate approach to benefits, not only adding value to their plans but also to the employer.

Detailed Implementation Process

Hodges-Mace works closely with clients to understand their needs before developing a comprehensive project plan. Led by a designated client manager who serves as a consistent point of contact, our team creates specific milestones and moves toward those goals with efficient, 30-minute client strategy meetings each week. Additionally, our scheduling system offers multiple avenues for employees to sign-up for counseling sessions and also provides periodic reminders of those sessions, so the process is simple and straightforward for the employees. Concluding enrollment, we provide employers with extensive reporting and analytics on the overall project.

Pre and Post Enrollment Communications

Annual enrollment communications should start well before a counseling session and effectively follow through afterward. We can supplement our benefits guide and counselor training manual with various digital and printed materials, including postcards, posters, and e-blasts. An enrollment communication strategy assists the employer is setting appropriate expectations, and allows the employee to prepare ahead of their counseling session. Then, additional targeted communications afterward help ensure employees take the necessary follow-up actions required from their enrollment.

Counseling Sessions Provide Individualized Conversations

When you need employees to truly understand their benefits, there’s no replacement for a guided 1:1 session. Our counselors go through an extensive two-day training in your specific benefits and enrollment platform before meeting with each employee for 30 minutes, helping them understand the ins and outs of your benefits package and the impact each decision can have for an employee. Since 2004, we’ve spent over 45 million minutes counseling employees on benefits to assist them in making the best benefit decisions for their stage of life.


“THANK YOU SO MUCH! Again – you guys were absolutely amazing and hopefully we can continue to work with you annually.”


– Human Resources Generalist

“Hodges Mace is truly an extension of HCMC’s Benefits Department, providing personalized benefit counseling to a diverse employee mix of union, non-union, physician and executives. Prior to Hodges Mace, we provided time blocks for employees to ask questions and enroll in their benefits. However, these were not formal counseling sessions. Employees who met with a counselor in year one expressed a better understanding of their benefits. In year two, several employees I have spoken with expressed appreciation for attending another session. Employee understanding of our benefits is a goal that I feel is achievable when partnering with Hodges Mace.”


– Benefits Provider

“So grateful for the Hodges-Mace, LLC team for spending two days preparing to educate our client during Open Enrollment. The project has been a massive undertaking and we could not have done it without their support.”


– Benefits Consultant