A Watson Wyatt news release
about its survey said 74% of the employers that provide these tools believe
employees altered their plan decisions based on using them. The survey also found that 50% saw an increase in the
use of these tools this year compared to last year.
The survey found that the greatest challenge employers cited during this year’s open enrollment was employee understanding of new plan features; 39% of employers said this issue was moderately to extremely challenging, and 32% said it was more challenging compared to last year. Thirty-two percent considered explaining price changes to be moderately to extremely challenging, and 26% said it was more challenging this year than last year.
The survey found that 69% of employers mailed printed materials to employees’ homes during this year’s open enrollment season, down from 76% in 2008. Twenty-two percent plan to eliminate paper-based communications next year.
Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents made materials accessible on the company intranet or the Internet, and 76% used email. More than one-quarter (27%) used interactive media or multimedia such as podcasts, Web videos, and online chat forums, according to the news release.
The Watson Wyatt survey was conducted in mid-November 2009, and includes responses from 349 U.S. employers.
More information on Watson Wyatt is at www.watsonwyatt.com.