Workers Still Prefer Mail and E-mail for Benefits Info

July 5, 2010 ( - While many U.S. employees use social media for personal reasons, the majority have not yet jumped onto the social media bandwagon for business use, nor are they interested in receiving information about their health benefits through social media, according to a new survey.

A press release from the National Business Group on Health, a group of nearly 300 large U.S. employers, said more than eight in 10 (82%) respondents indicated that in the last year, they received information on their health benefits (i.e. health insurance, health fairs, etc.) from their employer through mailings to their home, while 58% said they received information through e-mails.  About one-half (47%) obtained information on their company’s Web site.    

When asked how interested would they be in receiving health benefit information via social media, about three in four said they have no interest in getting this information via Facebook; slightly more – approximately 80% – have no interest in receiving a tweet (Twitter) with health benefit information.   Virtually all respondents said they would prefer receiving this information via regular mailings to their homes or via e-mails.  

The survey also found that younger and higher income workers have more interest in receiving health benefits information via social media than older and lower income workers.  Among employees who expressed an interest in social media, respondents had the greatest interest in receiving updates via Facebook and were most interested in receiving information on how to save money on health care.   

According to the press release, nearly one-half (47%) of the 1,500 U.S. employees surveyed indicated they use Facebook either daily or weekly for personal reasons, and 45% use text messaging either daily weekly for personal reasons.  Slightly more than one-third said they don’t use social media vehicle for personal reasons at all.    

However, when it comes to using social media for business purposes, only 7% use Facebook and 16% use text messaging.    

The National Business Group on Health Survey of Employees was conducted online in March 2010 and is based on responses from approximately 1,500 full and part-time employees of large U.S. employers (more than 5,000 employees).  Respondents were between the ages of 22 and 64 and receive health insurance through their employer.