Employees Need Help Evaluating Benefit Options

Fifty-six percent of employees say they waste up to $750 because of mistakes they make with insurance benefit elections. Twenty-four percent have chosen the wrong level of coverage or benefit options they didn’t need. Only 16% of employees are confident that they aren’t making mistakes during the enrollment process, according to a recent survey by Aflac. The survey also found the following:

  • 89% choose the same benefit options every year.
  • 65% feel that they are only somewhat prepared or not prepared for open enrollment.
  • 61% are only sometimes or not at all aware of changes to their policies each year.
  • 60% would be at least somewhat likely to apply for voluntary insurance plans.
  • 47% rarely or never exceed deductible costs.
  • 43% say rising out-of-pocket medical expenses and health insurance costs are the most important issues to them right now.
  • 40% have had to cut back on social activities.
  • 38% are very or extremely concerned about unanticipated medical expenses.
  • 28% have not been able to take a vacation.
  • 22% have had to work more hours.
  • 16% say they contribute the right amount to flexible spending accounts.

Forty-nine percent of employers say they communicate very effectively to extremely effectively with workers about company benefits. But 52% of employees say that their company has not communicated with them at all about the open enrollment process. Audrey Boone Tillman of Aflac offers the following tips to communicate with employees about their benefits:

• Choose the right products. Ask employees what they need and want in order to get the right mix of benefit options.
• Consider including more voluntary benefit options.
• Choose the right time to market benefit offerings to employees. Plan to reach employees when they’re most receptive to learning about their options. Innovative employers use a mix of online benefit portals, agent/broker enrollment sessions, employee newsletters, lunch-and-learn sessions, customized benefit booklets, frequently asked questions, and other educational materials to help employees understand what’s available and how each plan works.

For more information, visit http://www.aflac.com/aflac_workforces_report/articles.aspx.

Last Updated 7/11/2017

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