By the time your Halloween decorations are taken down and boxed up you’ll be getting ready for another important event this year: the 2015 health insurance open enrollment period.

Will this time around be a treat for your small business, or will it turn into a trick?

Starting on Nov. 15, 2014 and running through Feb. 15, 2015, individuals can acquire new health insurance policies or make key changes to their existing benefit plans. In order to keep the scares confined to Halloween, here are three tips to get the most out of this open enrollment period:

1. Know Your Options
The Affordable Care Act has opened up new doors for employers and individuals. Since it went into effect, many people have changed their coverage around to get a better deal. You may also want to go this route, and it helps if you know your options. Remember to research group benefit plans and individual ones.

You might save some money should you decide to ditch the group policy and instead financially support each employee as they purchase their own coverage.

2. Talk It out with Your Staff
A lack of communication can be a serious problem during the open enrollment period. Instead, make sure you talk it out with your staff ahead of time. Too many employees aren’t aware of the nuances of the ACA. Sit down with each of them to hash out the pros and cons of health insurance, so they know what they want to do this year.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Offer Benefits
Offering substantial employee benefits can be scary – it’s a definite financial investment. However, the right coverage, more variety and more options for employees can lead to improved retention, productivity, loyalty and other positives.

Have you started exploring your options during the 2015 open enrollment period? Tell us in the comments below.

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