Benefits in Brief – 9/5

Survey: American workers hasty with benefits related decision-making

Although taking advantage of the most appropriate insurance plan is a wildly important decision, a new survey from Aflac finds that workers spend a minimal amount of time on researching the decision. Forty-one percent of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options during the 2013 open enrollment season; and nearly a quarter (24 percent) spent five minutes or less according to the newly-released 2014 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey.

Regardless of the average $4,565 in premiums for an employer-sponsored health plan, the survey found that in relation to other prominent life decisions American workers spend very little time on selecting their insurance plan. They spend more time researching for new car purchases (10 hours), planning family vacations (five hours), shopping for new computers (four hours), and deciding what television to buy (two hours).

Ninety percent of workers are “auto-enrolling” or keeping the same benefits year after year. The brief decision making process can have potentially detrimental results, as 4 in 10 (42 percent) of workers waste up to $750 each year on mistakes with their insurance benefits. Most workers (73 percent) only sometimes, rarely or never understand everything that is covered by their policy.

The 2014 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey was conducted online among 2,100 U.S. consumers in June and July 2014 by Research Now on behalf of Aflac.

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