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Colonial Life cite seven benefits enrolment mistakes employees make

Most employees aren’t doing enough to learn about their benefits options and coverage gaps - and it’s hurting them at annual enrollment time, say financial experts at US based Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company

Claiming that, most employers aren’t prepared to make important financial protection plans, the company say that people should take the time to learn how benefits can help their families.”

The company surveyed nearly 400 employee benefits counsellors — the majority of them veterans with five or more years of experience in the benefits industry — about major mistakes they see employees make during their annual benefits enrolment.

Topping the list was employees assuming they don’t need to talk to a benefits counsellor before accepting benefits that are offered to them. This was cited by 81 per cent of survey respondents.

“You don’t go to court without your lawyer’s advice or invest in the stock market without an advisor’s input, so why go to enrol in your benefits without a professional’s advice?” a survey respondent wrote.

Mistakes number two to five were closely knotted in the rankings and also related to lack of information:

Not reading the benefits information before the enrolment - 69 per cent.

Not knowing what benefits they currently have and what they cost - 69 per cent.

Forgetting to talk with their spouse about their family’s needs before the enrolment - 67 per cent.

Assuming the cost of a new benefit is unaffordable without seeing any prices - 66 per cent.

The most commonly cited enrolment errors rounding out the top seven also involved poor preparation and not taking advantage of educational resources.

Many employers, especially those offering voluntary insurance options as part of the annual enrolment, give workers the opportunity to meet one-to-one with a benefits expert for a personalized counselling session. And employees who take advantage of these sessions are overwhelmingly positive about them. Post-enrolment surveys by Colonial Life show 98 per cent of employees who participated in a one-to-one session said it was important, and 97 per cent said the session improved or significantly improved their understanding of their benefits.



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