Statistics from HighRoads' latest industry survey on open enrollment reveals 71 percent of respondents conduct passive versus active enrollment practices, therefore enabling employees to automatically renew most of their own plans.

"While on the face of it, passive enrollment is easier for both employees and employers since employees can just 'roll over' their current elections (except for flexible spending accounts), that can be a risky practice," says Kim Buckey, SPD Practice Lead, HighRoads.

If participants renew their coverage without truly examining options, they may end up with coverage that doesn't meet their needs or costs them more than they can afford, she says. It's also important for SPDs—a federally required summary of plan benefits that must be distributed to employees, retirees and beneficiaries—to be updated to reflect any changes to offered benefits.

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