New research from The Hartford, a leading provider of employee benefits and absence management, found 40% of U.S. workers reported inflation will make them scale back on the employee benefits they choose during open enrollment. In addition, 48% of U.S. workers said inflation is making it difficult for them to pay for their benefits.
“With our current economic environment, it is an ideal time for workers to take stock of what benefits they currently have rather than automatically rolling over the same benefits they chose in previous years,” said Dana MacKinnon, head of relationship management strategy and enrollment for Group Benefits at The Hartford. “I encourage workers to take extra time this year to reflect on what changes have occurred in their life and select the benefits that best fit their individual needs and budget to help protect their finances in the long-run.”
Younger workers were more likely to report they would cut back on benefits compared to older peers. More than half of the workers ages 18-34 (51%) reported they are likely to scale back on their benefits compared to those ages 35-54 (41%) and those ages 55+ (25%).
Approach to Benefits Selection
While many workers noted they will select fewer benefits this year, The Hartford’s August 2022 Future of Benefits Pulse Survey found more than half (55%) of workers admitted at their age, they should know more about their employee benefits beyond medical, dental and vision than they currently do. The research indicates that clearer communications could help, with 37% of workers saying the names and descriptions of their employee benefits make them hard to understand.
According to the national survey, many workers automatically make the same benefits choices as the previous year, which is the most common approach among working Americans when selecting benefits:
- 30% of U.S. workers are “rollers,” typically rolling over the same benefits choices they made the previous year;
- 28% of workers are “planners,” keeping up to date on benefits throughout the year so they are prepared at enrollment time;
- 22% of workers are “analyzers,” analyzing the coverage and crunching the numbers for all of their benefits choices;
- 12% of workers are “consulters,” typically needing to consult with someone else before making their benefits selections; and
- 8% of workers are “avoiders,” tending to ignore all the open enrollment emails and would prefer not to think about their benefits.
To help U.S. workers fully understand their benefits options and make informed decisions to protect themselves and their families, employers can:
- Communicate all year long about benefits so they are better prepared at decision time. Many workers (39%) indicated they typically enroll in benefits as soon as the open enrollment window opens;
- Offer a variety of tools to reach their workforce such as emails, webinars, one-on-one support from benefits counselors, educational videos, interactive decision support tools and even social media. Forty-eight percent of U.S. workers have used social media platforms to learn about benefits, with YouTube and Facebook being the most common platforms used;
- Use clear language and personalized messaging to demonstrate how the insurance products relate to their lifestyle rather than simply listing what benefits are being offered; and
- Highlight the services that may come with the insurance coverage such as an employee assistance program (EAP) or will preparation services.
The survey showed that many workers (39%) said their overall health has improved thanks to the benefits and services offered by their company. As a leading provider of employee benefits products and services, including leave management, group life and disability insurance, as well as other voluntary products, The Hartford is committed to helping employers support the overall wellness of their workforce.
A national omnibus online survey was conducted in the U.S. among approximately 900 full-time and part-time employed adults aged 18+. The research was conducted July 26-28, 2022. The margin of error is +/- 3% at a 95% confidence level.
About The Hartford
The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at https://www.thehartford.com.
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries under the brand name, The Hartford, and is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut. For additional details, please read The Hartford’s legal notice.
Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-Q, and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.
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