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The good news: proactive employers can increase employees' satisfaction with their benefits
A large number of American workers remain unaware of, confused about and unprepared for looming changes to their benefits coverage, according to the 2013 Open Enrollment Survey of 2,001 U.S. consumers, conducted in August 2013 for Aflac, a provider of voluntary insurance benefits.
In the survey, 69 percent of workers said their employer hadn’t communicated changes that will be made to their benefits package due to health care reform, despite an Oct. 1 deadline for employers to notify their employees of their coverage options under the new health care insurance exchanges, or “marketplaces” (see the SHRM Online article “DOL Issues Model Exchange and COBRA Election Notices”).
The survey also revealed that:
“The good news is there is an opportunity for employers who take a proactive role in helping employees effectively maneuver this new benefits landscape to make significant gains in worker satisfaction and retention levels,” Aflac Executive Vice President Michael Zuna said in a news release.
Closing Communication Gaps
Along with encouraging employees to do their homework, organizations should take advantage of available resources to help workers navigate their benefit options, including onsite visits from an insurance agent or broker, Zuna advised. Information sessions enable employees to ask questions and receive relevant information to guide them to the best decisions for themselves and their families, and provide feedback to companies that can help them decide on benefits changes.
Other education steps Zuna recommends that employers take include:
Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Related SHRM Articles:
Communicating About Health Care Changes, SHRM Online Benefits, August 2013
On Notice: Upcoming Affordable Care Act Notice Requirements, SHRM Online Legal Issues, August 2013
For Open Enrollment, Remember New Templates for SBCs, SHRM Online Benefits, August 2013
SHRM Online Benefits page
SHRM OnlineHealth Care Reform Resource Page
SHRM Online Wellness Programs Resource Page
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