Employees say companies have yet to communicate benefit changes

Originally posted August 27, 2013 by Andrea Davis on  http://ebn.benefitnews.com

The October 1 deadline for employers to notify employees of their health coverage options is looming yet the majority of employees say their company has yet to communicate any changes, according to a survey released this morning by Aflac.

Sixty-nine percent of employees surveyed say their employer hasn’t communicated changes coming to their benefits package due to health care reform, despite the October 1 deadline.

In a separate Aflac survey, meanwhile, only 9% of companies indicate they are very prepared to implement required changes to their business based on the health care reform law at this time. Some employers (41%) believe more gaps in coverage will be created and 69% believe costs to employees will increase as a result of health care reform.

“At the heart of this issue is the fact that many workers will be blindsided this open enrollment season because we know they already struggle with understanding their insurance policies today, and in covering the high out-of-pocket costs from gaps in their current coverage,” says Michael Zuna, Aflac’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Other statistics from the open enrollment survey of employees include:

  • 74% of workers sometimes or never understand everything that is covered by their insurance policy today.
  • 37% of workers think it will be more difficult to understand everything in their health care policy with the changes dictated by health care reform.
  • 28% of employees are confused, worried or simply unsure about the change their employer is making to their health care coverage or benefits options due to health care reform.
  • 60% of workers have not begun to educate themselves about coming changes to their benefits package due to health care reform.