Employees’ competing priorities highlighted during benefits enrollment decision-making.
When talking to our clients about their employees’ benefits enrollment choices, we hear a consistent theme:
- Employees appear to make irrational decisions.
- They pick plans just based on the premium or the deductible amount.
- They choose traditional medical plans when high-deductible plans could save them money.
- They don’t use tax-advantaged accounts optimally.
And, the list goes on.
This may sound familiar to you, and you may have asked yourself what you can do to help nudge employees toward better choices.
Having meaningful insights into why employees are making the decisions they do lends value when considering how to improve engagement and enhance decision-making at time of enrollment.
To provide those insights, we’ve analyzed the results from our MyChoicesm Recommendation Engine, used to guide employees to better decisions as they enroll in their benefits, to uncover employees’ physical, emotional and financial health as it relates to benefits decisions.
The reality is, employees aren’t keeping up with the changes and choices in benefits. Based on what we learned from the aggregate 2019 Annual Enrollment MyChoice Recommendation Engine data, employees are still confused, demonstrating poor benefits and financial literacy. Amplify this general lack of basic understanding with financial stressors that are common across all demographics, and the outcome can lead to making choices based on feelings rather than fact in the absence of meaningful decision guidance.
To address these challenges, we designed our MyChoice Recommendation Engine to guide employees to better decisions as they enroll in their benefits. This online tool is integrated into our Benefitsolver platform, and it asks a series of specially designed questions that uncover the employee’s physical, emotional and financial health to create a personalized benefits recommendation that takes into account the employer’s full suite of offerings.
As employers, it’s important to understand the impact of employees’ competing priorities and lack of benefits literacy on your organization and your employees.
- The stakes are high. When employees make poor benefits decisions, they risk paying too much for unneeded coverage, or not having enough coverage and facing high and potentially unaffordable out-of-pocket costs. They may fail to use their benefits appropriately or at all, which can have health, financial, and emotional impacts that can impact their quality of life as well as their engagement and productivity on the job.
- Your ROI could be suffering. For employers, return on investment is undermined when employees don’t fully grasp the value of their benefits, seeing benefits as too expensive or not rich enough. Employees can drive up costs by seeking care in inappropriate venues. Or, they can seek what they believe are better benefits at another organization.
- Employees need a higher level of support. Through their responses, employees are telling us that they need more and different help. HR and benefits teams should focus on addressing the need for increased benefits literacy, more effective benefits communications, supporting better benefits selection and offering meaningful financial wellness programs.
The MyChoice Recommendation Engine Benefits Insight Report offers a wealth of statistics and additional key findings along with recommendations to help you empower employees to make more informed, rational benefits decisions. We hope it provides fresh information you can use to meet your benefits engagement goals.