Maybe open enrollment season needs its own holiday, representational character, costume and home decorating theme.
Despite all the effort made by employers, insurers and human resources professionals, the gut feeling has been that open enrollment season is unpopular has been hard to shake.
Now, we have a survey that quantifies just how much folks don’t celebrate that season.
VSP Vision Care surveyed employees about their attitudes and emotions around that special time of year when they must choose a benefits package. What the survey showed was not encouraging to those who have devoted years of their lives in the attempt to make open enrollment fun and exciting.
Respondents were asked to rate various “seasons” in terms of their preferences. In other words, do you like this season?
Here’s what came back:
- Holiday season: 73 percent
- Bathing suit season: 48 percent
- Back-to-school season: 28 percent
- Tax season: 20 percent
- Open enrollment season: 15 percent
- Allergy season: 9 percent
- Cold/flu season: 8 percent
Yes, even tax season outdrew open enrollment. And who are those people who preferred allergy and cold and flu season? Pharmacists?
Further, when asked what facing open enrollment time trumped in terms of other activities they’d rather avoid, the best showing came when comparing filling out the forms to cleaning a teenager’s bathroom. Three-quarters said they’d take open enrollment every time.
VSP dug deeper, extracting yet more information about open enrollment. Among the results:
Employers and employees were on the same page about most important benefits: medical, dental and vision, medical, of course, being No. 1.
Employees had a decent grip on some of the details of their coverage. When asked what they knew for sure about their coverage, here were the top three responses:
- 83 percent knew who their health care provider was;
- 71 percent knew what their co-pays were;
- 62 percent knew whether they had the option for new glasses.
Despite the lack of popular huzzahs for open enrollment season, the survey found that a full 85 percent complete their choices and turn in their papers within a few days. Only 15 percent waited till the last minute to do so.
Additionally, a great majority said they faced up to their open enrollment responsibilities and took some positive action toward completing it. Only 8 percent said they tried to drive the duty from their minds altogether.