In most cases, employees have one to two weeks to make important decisions during open enrollment about health care, insurance, and the wellbeing of themselves and their families. The window to make these decisions is short, but the impacts last a year—or much  longer. According to a report by PlanSource, employees spend an average of 18 minutes enrolling in their benefits. That is not much time to read, study and make informed decisions, meaning they are likely missing out on valuable offerings that support their emotional, physical, and financial well-being. 

For many employees, whether working remotely or in an office, distractions happen during open enrollment. Selecting benefits could come at an inopportune time – their child is crying, they’re under a critical deadline, or need to run errands. When short on time, most employees will focus on medical elections and perhaps a few other coverages familiar to them, such as dental insurance. Because they may be too distracted to fully understand what else is offered, they will often miss the value and relevance of other important benefits. 

Periodic communications throughout the year tied to current events improves the likelihood employees will better understand and appreciate what is available to them through their benefits package.  And research shows employees value an ongoing communication and education strategy for benefits. In a recent LegalShield survey, 81% of respondents expressed a desire for communications throughout the year. The same survey revealed that 47% of participants felt they didn’t know enough to make informed voluntary benefit choices during open enrollment. So, the need for more impactful benefit communication and education is substantial and readily acknowledged by employees.  

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