Employee Benefits and Enrollment Disconnect

by Cathy Miller on August 11, 2014

in Health Insurance

Employee Benefits Enrollment PostAnnual enrollment in employee benefits can be a real pain in the behind.

  • Employees and their families wade through volumes of benefits communication.
  • Human resources professionals have the daunting task of pulling it all together.

Typically, open enrollment season combines printed material with online technology. But not always.

Most agree clear communication is critical.

However, a recent survey suggests employers and their employees are not on the same page when it comes to the best enrollment tools.

In an era when consumerism is the goal du jour, selecting tools the employee will actually use makes sense.

Let’s review what the survey showed.

Employee Benefits Trends

MetLife recently released its 12th Annual U.S. Employee Benefits Trends Study.

The survey had two parts.

  • An employer survey (over 1,500 interviews)
  • An employee survey (over 1,200 interviews)

The surveys provide a perspective on employee benefits trends.

Survey Says

Looking at the topic of enrollment, the surveys asked about enrollment tools and tactics.

The survey separated responses by companies with fewer than 500 employees and those with more than 500 employees. (I’m not sure what happens if a company has exactly 500 employees). *wink*

Enrollment preferences study
The above illustrates only the top preference. The following are the top 5 employee benefits enrollment tools and tactics that employees find helpful.

Companies with fewer than 500 employees

  1. One-on-one meetings – 70% (43% of employers provide)
  2. Confirmation of elections – 67% (33% of employers provide)
  3. Toll-free help line – 64% (17% of employers provide)
  4. Company’s benefits website – 63% (18% of employers provide)
  5. Group in-person meetings – 63% (48% of employers provide)

Companies with more than 500 employees

  1. Confirmation of elections – 79% (48% of employers provide)
  2. Company’s benefits website – 77% (58% of employers provide)
  3. Online decision-support tools – 72% (36% of employers provide)
  4. One-on-one meetings – 69% (26% of employers provide)
  5. Mailings sent to employee’s home – 68% (54% of employers provide)

Are you surprised that paper and people-led enrollment are so popular?

Good to know we humans are not replaced yet.

Enrollment is but one topic of the Trends survey. You can access the survey, summaries and downloads at MetLife’s Benefit Trends site.

By the way, love the Snoopy favicon. If you don’t know the story on how MetLife scored with the right to use Snoopy and the Peanuts characters, read Good Customer Service Lands Snoopy. A short and simple story.


Helping you Keep it simple, clear & uniquely yours – contact me for help with your business writing needs. Visit my business blog, Simply stated business.


Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.

BigStock Photo Credit

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