How COVID-19 is Changing Open Enrollment

 We can add open enrollment to the growing list of activities affected by COVID-19.

As many employers enter that crucial benefits time, they are becoming more reliant on technology and are having to balance safety with the personal attention employees are used to receiving in regard to benefits.

For many employers, benefits will remain the same, so as not to rock the boat during uncertain times. However, employees may be more focused on benefits including income protection and life insurance benefits. Regardless of whether or not face-to-face meetings can resume in 2021, the role of technology in open enrollment will be increasingly important. 

Source: BenefitsNews

Younger Employees' View on Benefits has Changed

According to a study by Hartford's Future of Benefits, as a result of the pandemic, younger workers are now planning ahead with benefits such as life insurance. Nearly 40% of younger workers said they were going into their open enrollments with the intention of purchasing more insurance.

The study polled workers in March and then again in June. According to the results, those polled indicated they would consider purchasing the following types of products:

  • Life insurance: 40%
  • Short-term disability insurance: 30%
  • Long-term disability insurance: 29%
  • Critical illness insurance: 27%
  • Hospital indemnity insurance: 23%

Source: Insurance Journal

Health Care Still Lags in Ability to Access and Share Data

Despite the advances in technology, health records are not easily accessible to patients. Two contributing factors to this ongoing issue are that patients can't access their records in a timely manner and there isn't a set of standards for record-sharing.

Some health care centers require up to 60 days to process a record request which is often frustrating for a patient in need of immediate records. Additionally, many images from tests are still placed on a CD, and the technology available to different practices can vary greatly. Instead of saving images on a CD, secure links to digital images are faster and more efficient. However, without a set of standards or best practices, medical offices are apt to stick with the technology they know. 

Source: Healthcare Innovation

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