Dreading open enrollment? You’re not alone
In our new survey, 29% of those surveyed indicated they have little to no understanding of the life insurance benefits their company offers to them
Many working adults view open enrollment as a chore to be endured rather than as an opportunity to improve their family’s financial security.
How bad is it? In a recent survey by Haven Life, half of respondents would rather let their spouse have total control of the remote on Thanksgiving than spend time reviewing their health insurance and benefits options. Moreover, even many who try to make smart choices don’t fully understand their options.
“The results of our fourth-quarter survey show that even though employer-sponsored open enrollment periods are the primary way Americans purchase their insurance benefits, there is a significant educational gap within that process,” says Wade Seward, head of distribution strategy at Haven Life. “We found that 29% of those surveyed indicated they have little to no understanding of the life insurance benefits their company offers to them.”
See our other findings
Drilling into the details reveals even more dread and confusion. (Warning: What follows isn’t pretty.):
- Eighty-six percent of adults surveyed say their company offered health insurance plans, while 12% say their company does not offer health insurance and 2% were not sure.
- One-third of respondents have only somewhat or no understanding of the health care benefits their company provides.
- Seventeen percent say they have somewhat or no understanding of the difference between health insurance and life insurance benefits.
- Nearly three-fourths say their company offers life insurance benefits, while 21 say their company does not and 8% were not sure.
- Fourteen percent of respondents whose companies offer benefits do not know when their company’s open enrollment period begins.
- Thirty percent of respondents have spoken to their loved ones about necessary life insurance and financial planning needs in the past 6 months.
- The largest group of respondents believe that less than 10% of their salary (40%) is a fair percentage to spend on benefits. The next-largest group says 10% to 20% was fair. Only 20% believed that spending more 20% of their salary on benefits was fair.
- The largest group of respondents (25%) say they would like for their life insurance policy to pay out three to five years of their salary for their family to be financially secure. The next-largest group (17%) say six to eight years, but 7% say they wouldn’t feel their family would be financially secure regardless of the payout.
- Eighty-five percent of respondents are at least somewhat worried about an impending recession, with 36% admitting they were “very” worried.
- A wide majority (77%) of surveyed adults would like their life insurance payout to be at least three times their yearly salary, with 35% indicating they would want at least nine times their yearly salary in order to feel their family is financially secure.
The survey results point to an opportunity for companies to make open enrollment more user friendly and provide the resources employees need to make informed decisions.
“Life insurance is key to building a strong financial foundation and security for households, so employers must ensure their employees understand their benefits and can identify need gaps – the gap between the benefits that are provided versus what is needed to establish financial security,” Seward says.
For the rest of us, setting aside time — and a bit of patience — to fully understand our options remains the best approach during open enrollment season. The good news? Applying for term life insurance, another key component of well-rounded financial protection for you and your loved ones, can be done easily online through Haven Life. Start by getting a quote today.
About Alan GoforthRead more by Alan Goforth
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.
Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.
Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.
MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus
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