Paper or Web: Which Enrollment Process Should Employers Use?

There’s a disconnect in how employers think employees want to enroll in benefits and how employees actually want to enroll.

Employers are not in touch with how their employees want to enroll in benefits, findings of a recent LIMRA survey suggest.

Only 38% of surveyed employers think their employees want to use a computer to enroll, while more than one-quarter believe their employees still want to enroll through paper forms. However, a 2015 LIMRA study found that 68% of employees want to enroll in their benefits online or electronically and only 16% want paper enrollment forms.

This disconnect hurts employees’ perceptions of their employers. Surveyed employees who preferred online enrollment felt that companies still using paper enrollment were stuck in the past, out of touch with today’s technology, or thought that it would simply be better done electronically.

Looking beyond the benefits enrollment method an employer uses, the study uncovered another disconnect about how employees enroll in their benefits. While one in four employers automatically re-enroll their employees annually in at least some benefits, less than 10% of employees prefer this automated process. 

Employers need to gain a better understanding of their employees’ preferences. “With more and more Millennials entering the workforce, it is likely this disconnect between employers’ paper-centric enrollment mentality and the modern technological approach of their employees will only grow,” LIMRA says.