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Inflation is causing many employees to feel financially strained. This may impact the choices employees make on their benefits during open enrollment.
Inflation’s Impact on Employees
According to The Harford’s Future of Benefits Pulse Survey, 63% of U.S. workers felt more financially stressed over the past year. To prepare for a possible recession, many workers reported cutting back on day-to-day expenses (40%), getting a second job (17%), looking for a higher paying job (19%), and paying off debt (30%). As more employees are watching their finances, they will likely spend more time reviewing their benefit selections than in previous years.
Approaching Open Enrollment
Nearly 72% of adults spend less than one hour deciding their health plans during open enrollment, according to a recent Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey. Employees are looking for help and guidance from their employers on how to optimize what they spend on their benefits. Without guidance, many may rush through the process or make the same choices as last year. Employers can help employees make better choices if they understand how they approach their benefits selection.
How Employers Can Help
Employee benefits are an important part of employers’ attraction and retention strategies. Employers can help their employees understand their benefit options and make more informed decisions. This can help employees better protect themselves and their families in the upcoming year.
Here are some ways to assist employees this open enrollment season:
- Communicate about benefits early. By talking about benefits and open enrollment before it even begins, employees can be better prepared to make benefit decisions and enroll right away.
- Use a variety of communication channels. Send information about benefits through a variety of channels including email, videos, interactive tools, meetings, etc.
- Highlight services that comes with coverage. Employees make better decisions to protect themselves if they understand what services accompany their benefit selections. Services may include legal advice benefits or an employee assistance program.
- Use clear language and personalized messaging. Instead of simply listing what benefits are offered, use clear language and personalized messaging to show how insurance products relate to employees’ lifestyles.
Employers can simplify and personalize the open enrollment process this year to help employees figure out how to best allocate their potentially limited resources strained by inflation. Allowing more time for employees to review benefits will help them make the best selections for themselves during this financially difficult time.
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National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.