More than half (53%) of employees surveyed by LIMRA said they spend less than one hour reviewing benefits information during their company’s open enrollment period (see also “Employees Do Not Want to Research Health Benefit Options”).
When they make a decision, it is usually to keep everything the same as last year. Only 36% of employees made changes to any of their benefit selections in the past year.
Employees make benefit changes for a variety of reasons, the surveyed showed. A new offering from their employer was the most cited reason (22%) followed by “determining that another plan was better” (19%). An increase in the cost of benefits was a reason to change for 18% of employees.
The study suggests a strong connection between the time spent reviewing benefits and the decision to make a change. Among employees who made at least one change, 49% spent two hours or more reviewing their benefit information.
COMING UP: Preference to enroll online
It is difficult to determine, however, which behavior is causing the other, LIMRA noted. Employees who know they want to make a change may be more likely to look at benefits materials, but reviewing benefits information may motivate employees to take action and make a change.
Once they have decided on their benefits coverage, employees showed a strong preference to enroll online, with 68% favoring this method over paper enrollment or other alternatives. Half of employees who currently enroll on paper prefer a different method, and most would choose online.
Among those who enrolled online, nearly all used a laptop computer or personal computer (PC) rather than a mobile device. Only 4% of employees enrolled on a smartphone, and 5% on a tablet. Younger employees were somewhat more likely to use a mobile device, but still only 15% of Gen Y employees enrolled on a tablet or smartphone.LIMRA surveyed 3,000 full-time employees on their experiences with benefits communication and enrollment.