Employees don’t know enough about accessing benefits programs: survey

While North American employers agree it’s important to provide health benefits to employees, many say their workers don’t know enough about what they offer, according to a new survey by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

The survey, sponsored by digital benefits platform League Inc., polled 238 company executives. The majority (90 per cent) said they think health benefits are a way to demonstrate that their organization cares about employee needs. However, more than half (58 per cent) said employees are unaware of the benefits they’re entitled to, while a further 63 per cent said employees don’t know enough about how to leverage their benefits.

Read: Gaps persist in plan sponsor, member views on benefits: Sanofi

The survey also found employees have low engagement levels with their benefits programs. Just 28 per cent of respondents said employees are actively engaged with all the health benefits programs they offer and 27 per cent said employees use the entire range of their health benefits.

In addition, 41 per cent of organizations said employees are knowledgeable about which health benefits program is appropriate for them and just 35 per cent said employees know the cost of health care.

“There is a profound disparity between what employers are doing to provide health benefits and what employees are actually getting from these efforts,” said Mike Serbinis, League’s chief executive officer, in a press release. “To close this gap and improve health outcomes while reducing costs, the entire ecosystem needs to become employee-centric.”

Just 10 per cent of survey respondents said they have a single system through which employees can learn about and access all of their benefits, while the majority said they have multiple systems for employees to navigate. Thirteen per cent of organizations said they have more than five systems for employees to use in order to access their benefits.

However, 68 per cent of respondents said opportunities exist for their organizations to better manage health benefits costs, while the same percentage said their organization is open to improving employee health-care system.

Read: How to communicate benefits to a diverse workforce