Avoiding unpleasant things is human nature - like filing taxes or cleaning out the refrigerator. But enrolling in benefits at work? For some people, this is the last thing they want to even think about.
“Choosing insurance can be stressful and overwhelming,” says Adam Krawiec, head of customer and broker services for Group Benefits at The Hartford. “Some workers are concerned about making the wrong choice or not knowing enough about the benefits to make such important decisions.”
In fact, The Hartford’s research found that 55% of U.S. workers admit that they should know more about their employee benefits beyond medical, dental and vision than they currently do. Some people say they prefer not to think about their benefits at all and avoid reading emails about open enrollment. While others (30%) just automatically select the same benefits they chose the year before.1 But if they’ve had life changes over the past year, like getting married, having a baby or suffering from a serious illness, are those benefits still the best fit for their individual needs?
“These benefits are there to help working Americans protect their paycheck and stay healthy and productive in the workplace,” Krawiec says. “So, it’s important to help employers communicate about benefits in new ways that really resonate with workers and get them to see how these benefits can fit their individual needs. We want workers to think differently about the benefits they’ve seen for years.”
Grouping and Reframing: Strategies To Help Simplify Employee Benefits
During enrollment, workers spend most of their time selecting health insurance plans. They often don’t put the same time and effort into thinking about the rest of their employer’s benefit offerings, such as life and supplemental health benefits.2 These benefits help protect an employee’s income and may keep them from dipping into their savings to pay for unexpected costs. The benefits support the worker and those who depend on them by paying cash in the event of injuries, illness and death.
“Simpler, easily understood descriptions help people see how these benefits can protect them and their loved ones in their daily lives.” Krawiec says.
The Hartford is changing the way we talk about benefits, helping employers group benefits by common themes and using descriptions that show how these employee benefits actually work. For example, grouping supplemental health benefits and placing them near the health insurance choices in enrollment communications can be very educational for employees. It can help them “connect the dots” to see how the cash benefits could fill gaps left by medical insurance after an illness or accident.