Two-thirds of employees just do not care about the details of their employer health benefits package. And during the annual enrollment period, this stark reality has enrollment pros grinding their teeth in frustration.
Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. took the pulse of 400 employee benefits counselors and came away with a tale of ongoing impatience with the lack of employee engagement these folks see when it comes to the all-important enrollment decision.
Asked to identify the primary mistakes employees make during enrollment, here’s what they listed, along with the estimates of what percentage of covered employees made the mistake.
- Not taking advantage of a benefits counselor before electing a package – 81 percent.
- Not reading the benefits information before the enrollment — 69 percent.
- Not knowing what benefits they currently have and what they cost — 69 percent.
- Forgetting to talk with their spouse about their family’s needs before the enrollment — 67 percent.
- Assuming the cost of a new benefit is unaffordable without seeing any prices — 66 percent
The upshot of this shoddy participation is that employees overlook coverage that would benefit them and don’t build a coverage package that best protects themselves and their families, respondents said.
“This is the one time you have to take control of how you want to provide for your family and yourself,” a survey respondent commented. “Take time to talk with your spouse and understand how the benefits can really help your family.”
More than half of employees won’t walk down the hall to attend the benefits package informational meeting, and half of them are “not taking time to understand the upcoming changes in their benefits plan.”
Not surprisingly, these professionals believe employees would do themselves and their families a great service simply by discussing their options with a professional.
“You don’t go to court without your lawyer’s advice or invest in the stock market without an advisor’s input, so why go to enroll in your benefits without a professional’s advice?” a survey respondent wrote.