A survey conducted by industry research group LIMRA asked employees how they would prefer to receive information about their benefits package. Most employees will attend group meetings, but they are more likely to use printed materials and consult human resources (HR) staff individually.
LIMRA's study considered how insurance benefit carriers can best deliver benefit information to employees. It found that employees are most likely to use printed materials at work (83%) or home (76%), while they were slightly less inclined to access information online (70%) and by email (61%).
The study also revealed that only about half of employees remember having access to decision-support tools to help make choices about their benefits, and the tools they used most often were the ones that allowed them to make side-by-side comparisons and calculate costs or insurance needs.
"Employees told us these interactive tools were the most useful to them, yet they were used less than the other tools. This speaks to the need for carriers to actively market their interactive tools so employees are more aware of them," comments Kim Landry, insurance research analyst at LIMRA.
Although 71% of those surveyed attend group meetings on benefits when they are offered, they said they found group meetings less useful than nearly every other form of communication; they expressed concerns about asking personal questions in front of others, and about fellow employees taking up too much time in the session with their own issues.
Most of the respondents said that, if they required assistance, they wanted to be able to speak with HR staff or have a phone number to call. Landry says that employees who have access to these resources are more likely to feel confident about their benefit selections.