When people start decorating their homes and businesses with fake spiderwebs, inflatable monsters and spooky light displays, HR pros and third-party administers may get a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach. It’s not because they’re afraid of Halloween. It’s because they know that if Halloween is coming, open enrollment is coming, too.

In a way, it’s fitting that these two events occur around the same time of year. You might think that, other than their proximity on the calendar, Halloween and open enrollment have nothing in common. But if you dig deeper, you’ll see that they actually share one eerie trait.

What Halloween and Open Enrollment Have in Common      

If you’ve watched many horror movies, you’re probably familiar with a few common tropes. Some teens are having fun, perhaps near a cemetery, when a monster rises from the dead and attacks them. Or maybe it’s the end of the movie, and the last survivor thinks the nightmare is over – until the monster comes back for one last attack.

In horror movies, things that appear dead can come back to haunt you.

Open enrollment often seems the same in this regard. In theory, open enrollment only takes up a few weeks of the year. In reality, it can eat up the better part of the year. You spend weeks or even months preparing. Then you spend even longer recovering.

Just when you think open enrollment is finally finished and you can put it behind you, a problem can rise from the grave and attack.

Open Enrollment Problems That Refuse to Die

Imagine that open enrollment is over. You’re feeling pretty good, right? You’re getting ready to go home, probably to sleep through the entire weekend, when the phone rings. It’s a COBRA participant, and they only just heard about the open enrollment period.

Or imagine that you’re tidying up your office, clearing away the post-OE mess, when a letter catches your eye. It’s an important notice that should have been mailed out weeks ago, but there it is, sitting on your desk. You forgot to send it out.

Like a horror movie monster, open enrollment mistakes have a way of coming back to haunt us.

But this doesn’t mean you’re doomed. With the right tools and tips, the horror movie protagonist can survive to the end of the film. As an HR pro or third-party administrator, you also need the right tools and tips.

Do you know the nine OE zombies and how to defeat them? Get our OE Zombies infographic now!