Personalized tools and technology are spurring employees to take action this annual enrollment season, according to Alight Solutions
Lincolnshire, IL September 6, 2018
As employers increasingly look for ways to actively engage their workers and their families in the annual benefits enrollment process, Alight Solutions, a leader in technology-enabled health, wealth, HR and finance solutions, finds employers are adopting enrollment strategies that more closely mirror people’s consumer technology experience.
According to Alight, more than half of people (55 percent) did not actively enroll in their benefits last open enrollment season. In response, Alight finds employers are focusing on three key areas to simplify the enrollment process and provide a more engaging experience:
Digital/mobile enrollment. Employers are streamlining the enrollment process to ensure it is easy to complete via any mobile device and more closely aligns with the digital consumer experiences people are accustomed to in their day-to-day lives. According to data from Alight, 25 percent of people used a tablet or mobile device during last enrollment season, compared to just 15 percent in 2015. While the percentage of people who actually use mobile to complete the enrollment process is smaller, it will rise as employers optimize the mobile enrollment experience.
“Consumerism is now expanding from people’s personal lives to their work lives,” said Karen Frost, Health Strategy and Solution leader at Alight. “People want a benefits enrollment experience that is in line with their online shopping or other digital experiences that incorporates things like predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to make the enrollment process easier and more personal.”
Hyper-personalization. For years, benefits and communications experts have urged employers to move away from “one-size-fits-all” benefits communications. In a digital world that anticipates consumers’ buying decisions, interests and behaviors, consumers are now echoing that desire fora more personalized benefits experience. In a recent Alight survey, over half of people (52 percent) said employers should provide personalized health information, up from one-third in 2013. Similarly, 53 percent of people say they would be comfortable sharing health information with their employers (or an appropriate third party) in order to receive personalized health and wellness information or guidance; and 60 percent of people would share their personal financial information with their employer in exchange for more personalized guidance and planning.
Employers are taking this request for more personalization to the enrollment experience through things like “guided” enrollment, which provide suggested benefits selections based on their previous behavior. To drive better health care coverage decisions employers also offer personalized medical cost statements to help employees understand costs between plans at an individual level. Others leverage “People Like Me” approaches which give employees suggested benefits elections that meet the needs of employees with similar family situations. Employers are also adding more personalized tools and resources to help employees manage their unique financial situations—help with budgeting, long- and short-term financial planning, and even highly customized 401(k) investment strategies.
Decision support. Annual enrollment can be overwhelming, and people need and want more help to make the most appropriate decision for their individual situations. According to Alight’s data, people believe decision support tools are valuable—especially those that provide more personal and relevant content and services. Nearly seven-in-ten people (69 percent) view personalized support for navigating their health care and health costs as valuable. Decision support tools like health care cost modelers, provider search tools, plan comparison charts and guided experiences help make the enrollment process easier.
“Employers are realizing that encouraging action during enrollment isn’t about more choices, more information, or more paper. It’s about meeting people where they are and giving them information and support when and where they want it— in a way that is accessible and helpful to them,” explained Frost.
About Alight Solutions
As a leading provider of benefits administration and cloud-based HR and financial solutions, we enhance work and life through our service, technology and data. Our dedicated colleagues across 12 global centers deliver an unrivaled consumer experience for our clients and their people. We are Alight. Reimagining how people and organizations thrive.