At Work

Why Employees Make Bad Open Enrollment Decisions | Benefitfocus

Did you know that 80 percent of Americans typically enroll in a health plan that is not appropriate for their needs? That may come as a surprise, but when you consider some other statistics, it really shouldn’t:

83 percent of employees spend less than an hour researching their open enrollment options.

92 percent simply choose the same benefits they had the year before.

Only 4 percent can correctly define the terms deductible, out-of-pocket maximum, copay and coinsurance.

Source: Why Employees Make Bad Open Enrollment Decisions | Benefitfocus

Hey, I’ll  be the first to admit it; figuring out health care coverage is not easy or fun. It takes effort. But ignoring the matter can create big problems. 

The are two problems. People typically overestimate their financial risk and therefore spend too much on insurance. They guarantee their spending on premiums to a greater extent then they are likely to spend on health care. The second problem is little value is placed on the time needed to evaluate coverage choices. 

Conditions change from year to year. A look at past spending habits might provide a better idea of risk. Understanding the maximum out-of-pocket risk will help determine the appropriate deductible and co-pay choices. 


1 reply »

  1. There is a third problem for those of us who do the research. When dealing with the insurance companies there are times when they do not know what’s covered and what is not covered so how am I to know?. There have been a few times when BCBS have given me two different answers on the phone. I even had them look up the last call records and they have a loss for words why a person would tell me such a thing. The end result is you have a tendency to continue with what you know since you already fought the fight. Experimenting can also cost you when you find out something was not covered or you did follow proper procedures to get an expense pre-approved. It is tough when one person tells you one thing and another something different. At least if you stick with the same you have some assurance that if they paid the bill last time, they should pay it this time. Sometimes I think that BCBS just automatically rejects the first bill just to see who fights their bills.


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