Filed Under:Health Insurance, Individual Health

Aflac: Avoiding Costly Mistakes During Open Enrollment

Tom Giddens
Tom Giddens

Open enrollment season is a time when agents and brokers are perhaps most called upon to advise and guide clients about a range of benefit package elements. From deciding which major medical insurance plan structure is right for the organization to determining needed changes to existing policies, there are a host of issues HR managers want advice about.

As a recent Aflac survey uncovered, open enrollment can be a challenging time for employees as well. Particularly in an environment of growing complexity and tight finances, employees are clamoring for the information they need to make sound judgments regarding their families’ finances and health plans.

Aflac recently examined the issue of open enrollment with U.S. workers and uncovered several trends that illustrate the need for better communication and efforts during open enrollment and throughout the year.

The Aflac survey findings underpin several crucial deficiencies workers face during open enrollment selections, and for which brokers and agents can offer solutions.

Best Practice: Address the frequency of election mistakes head on.

The Aflac study found that 77 percent of workers have admitted to making mistakes about their coverage during their open enrollment process. This left many employees feeling negatively at the end of the year about the process, including feeling stressed, confused or regretful.

Best Practice: Make Policy Changes Very Clear

Nine out of 10 workers say they typically choose the same plans (e.g. medical, dental, vision) year after year, according to the Aflac study. Yet, most employees don’t fully understand their policies.

Best Practice: Help Workers Find Ways to Save Money Through Plan Selections

The Aflac study found that 63 percent of workers don’t participate in a FSA. And of those who do, 43 percent say they usually or sometimes contribute too little, and 23 percent say they contribute too much. Only three of 10 workers say they contribute the right amount to their FSA.

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Nichole Morford

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