Colonial Life survey shows personal benefits counseling improves understanding

Ninety-eight percent of employees say understanding their benefits is important.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 21, 2013) — Virtually all employees who participate in one-to-one benefits counseling sessions during enrollment say they have a greater understanding of the benefits their employers offer, according to surveys by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company.

Latest results of an ongoing post-enrollment survey show that 97 percent of employees who take part in individual benefits counseling sessions with Colonial Life say they better understand their benefits — and 47 percent say the benefits counseling sessions significantly improved their understanding.1 More than 30,000 workers in the United States have taken the survey over the past three years.

“These survey results confirm how much it matters to employees that they understand their employer-provided benefits,” says Randy Horn, president & CEO of Colonial Life. “Our research shows a strong majority of American workers say understanding their benefits is very important to them.” 2

The tight economy means good benefits knowledge matters to employers, too, Horn adds. “The investment employers make in providing a strong benefits package is lost if employees don’t understand and appreciate their options,” he says. “It’s not enough to just offer coverage. The value to employers and employees is magnified with the addition of personalized benefits education and communication.”

The company’s post-enrollment survey also shows employees place great importance on having access to personal, one-to-one benefits counseling. Nearly all — 98 percent — of employees say having annual one-to-one benefits counseling sessions is important, and 63 percent say it’s very important.

Research from a recent white paper by Colonial Life addresses the importance of benefits communication and a well-informed workplace. Although 98 percent of employees with employer-provided benefits say understanding their benefits is important, only 34 percent say they understand their benefits very well, and 7 percent say they don’t understand the benefits well at all.3

“Effective benefits communication strategies don’t have to add expenses or administrative burdens for employers,” says Horn. “There are many relatively easy and practical steps employers can take to strengthen the value of their benefits plans, including partnering with a benefits provider that can offer comprehensive benefits communication and education services.”

1 Results based on an online, post-enrollment survey of more than 30,000 employees conducted by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company since January 2010.
2 Colonial Life-Harris Interactive Quick Query, Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2013.
3 Colonial Life, Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?, Spring 2013.

About Colonial Life

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, dental, cancer, critical illness and hospital confinement indemnity insurance. The company’s benefit services and education, innovative enrollment technology and personal service support more than 80,000 businesses and organizations, representing more than 3 million of America’s workers and their families. For more information visit www.coloniallife.com or connect with the company at www.facebook.com/coloniallifebenefits, www.twitter.com/coloniallife and www.linkedin.com/company/colonial-life.