Employees Blame Employers for Open Enrollment Mistakes

Fifty-six percent of employees estimate they waste up to $750 because of mistakes made with insurance benefits elections, according to research.

Only 16% of employees feel confident they are not making mistakes during the enrollment process, the 2012 Open Enrollment Survey of the Aflac WorkForces Report (AWR) found. More than six in 10 workers surveyed (61%) are only sometimes or not at all aware of changes to their policies each year, and 89% say they simply elect the same benefits options every year.  

Nearly half (47%) rarely or never exceed deductible costs, and only 16% contribute the right amount to flexible spending accounts.  

While many American employers surveyed feel they are adequately educating their workers about benefits options, employees disagree. The survey found nearly two-thirds (65%) of employees feel they are only somewhat prepared or not prepared for open enrollment.   

Forty-nine percent of employers say they communicate very to extremely effectively with their workers about company benefits. More than half of workers (52%) say their company has not communicated with them at all about the open enrollment process.



Half of employees indicated they would feel more informed about health insurance choices if they sat down with an insurance consultant during enrollment, and 47% typically look to resources other than HR/benefits professionals for advice about their benefits.  

In addition to confusion related to the open enrollment process, rising health care costs remain top-of-mind among employees. Forty-three percent identified rising out-of-pocket medical expenses and health insurance costs as the most important issues to them right now. Nearly four in 10 (38%) say they are very or extremely concerned about the possibility of an unanticipated medical expense.   

Many Americans have made changes in their everyday lives to meet the high cost of unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses. Forty percent cut back on social activities, 28% say they have been unable to take a vacation and 22% have had to work more hours.  

More information is at http://www.AflacWorkForcesReport.com.