Opinion

Lack of communication

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate…"

It’s more than just a legendary line from a classic Paul Newman film. It seems to still be a (sad) way of life at employers across the country. And it’s costing employees dearly – in terms of both time and money.

Now, we already knew the Gen Y is more out of touch than most – based on a report from Colonial Life earlier this month, which revealed this financially shaky demographic remains undersold and misunderstood. And, believe it or not, this is an age group that actually perfect old school, face-to-face communication – something to think about.

But despite beating this dead horse all the way to the Elmer’s plant, employers still don’t communicate well with their workers – at least when it comes to their benefits information. A new Aflac report shows a whopping 76 percent of workers “who make decisions about benefits coverage during open enrollment admit to mistakes.”

Nearly 75 percent admit to a lack of understanding of their basic medical coverage, while 59 percent don’t really understand the year-to-year changes in those same policies.

Guess its little wonder, then, we have so many people showing up at emergency rooms across the country for hardly emergency care.

Sure, there’s a certain amount of people you’re not going to reach – kinda like Cool Hand Luke himself. But numbers like these show us that employers are dropping the ball. And if they expect employees to start pulling more of their own weight – both in terms of cost and prevention – then maybe it’s time we starting holding employers accountable for communicating their expectations and responsibilities better, as well.

A good broker can always help you out there. I might know a couple...

About the Author
Denis Storey

Denis Storey

Denis Storey is editor for BenefitsPro.com and Benefits Selling magazine. He can be reached at dstorey@benefitspro.com.

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