U.S. Workers Not Confident in Ability to Choose Their Own Benefits Wisely
MetLife’s Benefits Election Poll found that many workers either fail to change their choices or actively enroll during their annual benefits enrollment period as just 56 percent of eligible participants were found to feel very confident in their benefits choices. The poll also found that about 20 percent of workers who could have participated in enrollment during 2011 failed to and thus relied on default choices. Men failed to actively choose benefits 24 percent of the time while women were half as likely to act at 12 percent.
“We encourage employees to cast a ‘Vote for You.’ In other words, take full advantage of the benefits employers are offering and the discounts available through group pricing,” said Todd Katz, executive vice president, MetLife. “This is a once-a-year opportunity for employees to maximize their total compensation package by selecting benefits options that meet their specific needs.”
Over half of survey respondents reported to intentionally keeping their benefits choices the same citing that their personal needs were also unchanged. But the survey found that, of those employees who actively reviewed their benefits materials, only 43 percent kept their options the same, compared to 58 percent of those workers giving the materials only a cursory review. Money could be a major incentive in convincing more workers to review enrollment materials as 68 percent of workers said that they would increase review time if they could save money with group insurance products.
“It pays to be a savvy shopper at the office as well as at home,” said Katz. “Not only are there obvious out-of-pocket cost savings by using plans with in-network dental, medical and vision providers, but some employers offer opportunities to save on auto insurance, homeowners insurance and even attorney fees. For example, we’ve found that people who elect auto insurance through work can save, on average, 28%.”