As open enrollment approaches, employees are turning to their employers for additional benefits protections, resources and support
A new study from Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) shows that 86% of those surveyed say insurance benefits other than medical insurance are a “must-have or very important” for an employer to offer.1 In today’s economic environment, employees are increasingly interested in workplace benefits that can provide financial protection and support as they face competing financial challenges, including saving enough for emergencies, paying down debt and increasing medical expenses2. As open enrollment approaches, employers have an opportunity to provide resources employees need to feel protected.
Offering a comprehensive benefits package and financial wellness support during open enrollment can help employees take control of their finances and can also help employers looking to attract and retain talent. For instance, Lincoln offers its Workplace Solutions employer clients access to Lincoln WellnessPATH® – an online tool featuring personalized, actionable steps to help employees set financial goals and learn tips for money management. Lincoln’s WellnessPATH® Marketplace also connects individuals with partner companies that offer solutions to help them work toward financial goals, including student loan debt support. Offering resources like these can lead to an increase in employee satisfaction, as research shows 56% of employees surveyed say they would be more loyal to an employer who provided financial wellness benefits.3
“Employees’ wallets are stretched thin. Increasingly, they are turning to their employers for benefits that can help protect their financial futures,” said Jimmy Reid, executive vice president, president of Workplace Solutions, Lincoln Financial Group. “With the right benefits and financial protections in place, employees are better able to manage everyday expenses and save more confidently, without the worry of compromising their savings if something unexpected comes their way. Open enrollment is the ideal time for employers to showcase the benefits options available and how these benefits can help safeguard their finances.”
Amid rising costs and concerns around inflation, 82% of those surveyed say it is important for them to have protection against expenses or lost income in case of an unexpected event.4 The addition of voluntary benefits like Accident, Critical Illness and Hospital Indemnity insurance can help provide protection against unforeseen health issues or accidents – and research shows these types of supplemental health products are of great interest among workers.5 Yet, along with the lack of availability, one of the biggest barriers to widespread adoption is understanding the value these benefits can provide. In fact, 54% of workers surveyed believe that supplemental benefits are designed only for people who already have specific health issues.6
Here are some strategies employers can adopt to help enhance the benefits experience during open enrollment:
- Provide expert advice: For many workers, an ideal benefits education program includes having experts readily available to answer employee questions. This advice can be delivered to employees in a variety of ways, from lunch-and-learns to webinars to one-on-one meetings.
- Connect employees directly to the benefits provider: Employees prefer to hear directly from their benefits providers — nearly 9 in 10 respondents reported that they would be very or somewhat interested in receiving communication directly from an insurance carrier.7 Employers can help facilitate this by ensuring the contact details for their benefits carrier are prominently placed on benefits materials and intranet sites.
- Highlight affordability: Many workers aren’t aware of how affordable supplemental health benefits can be. In fact, the perception that supplemental benefits are unaffordable is the top reason workers choose not to enroll.8 Conversely, among those who are enrolled in supplemental benefits, the most common reason for enrollment was affordability (41%).9 Employers can dispel these misperceptions by highlighting the cost and value of supplemental health benefits in open enrollment communications.
As a leading provider of workplace benefits, Lincoln Financial is committed to offering new and innovative products and solutions, and continues to expand its workplace benefits and retirement savings offerings to meet the unique needs of customers. Recent enhancements include:
- Launching enhanced Accident insurance coverage in all 50 states with additional flexibility and increased benefit amounts to address the cost of inflation. Includes family care benefits focused on dependent children as well as older adults.
- Expanded Hospital Indemnity insurance coverage to 48 states – now available in New York, Washington and Rhode Island. Includes maternity-related and innovative NICU enhancement benefits designed specifically for expectant mothers; mental disorder and substance abuse treatment benefits.
- Critical Illness insurance attained age rating option expanded in all 50 states, with unlimited recurrence with no lifetime maximums.* Includes health assessment and wellness screenings for early detection and prevention; robust value-added advocacy benefits for the insured and their immediate family members.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group helps people to plan, protect and retire with confidence. As of Dec. 31, 2022, approximately 16 million customers trust our guidance and solutions across four core businesses – annuities, life insurance, group protection and retirement plan services. As of September 30, 2023, the company had $290 billion in end-of-period account balances, net of reinsurance. Headquartered in Radnor, Pa., Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE: LNC) and its affiliates. Learn more at LincolnFinancial.com.
* Except Skin Cancer
1 Lincoln Financial, Consumer Sentiment Tracker, Q1-Q3 2023
2 Lincoln Financial, Wellness@Work: Retirement Plan Services, 2023
3 Lincoln Financial, Wellness@Work: Group Benefits, 2022
4 Lincoln Financial, Consumer Sentiment Omnibus, June 2022
5 Lincoln Financial, Wellness@Work: Group Benefits, 2022
6 Lincoln Financial, Wellness@Work: Group Benefits, 2022
7 Lincoln Financial, Wellness@Work: Group Benefits, 2022
8 Lincoln Financial, Wellness@Work: Group Benefits, 2022
9 Lincoln Financial, Wellness@Work: Group Benefits, 2022
Lincoln Financial Group