Health Reform WK-EDGE Most employees do not plan to take extra time evaluating benefits options this year
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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Most employees do not plan to take extra time evaluating benefits options this year

By Lauren Bikoff, MLS

Despite changes in health benefits due to the pandemic, most employees won’t spend extra time evaluating benefit options.

Nearly 80 percent of employees do not anticipate spending extra time evaluating their benefits options this year compared to what they have done in the past, according to recent research from Fidelity Investments. This is despite the fact that 27 percent of organizations have changed employee health benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Given these changes and the amplified importance of maintaining physical, mental, and financial health, Fidelity noted that this year’s annual enrollment marks a critical moment when employees need to spend time understanding and evaluating their options.

"If 2020 has shown us anything—it’s that this is not a typical year and arguably, we are approaching the most important annual enrollment we will ever experience in our lifetime and we cannot simply default our benefits like we may have done in previous years," said Hope Manion, chief health and welfare actuary and senior vice president at Fidelity Workplace Consulting.

The survey, Uncovering the Real Value of the Benefits You Offer, found that many employees are generally aware of the benefits available to them, but still are not taking advantage of them. For instance, while 92 percent of employees know whether or not a health savings account (HSA) is offered, many still do not enroll in the high-deductible health plan, which is required before they can enroll in the HSA.

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