Workers lose $750 in enrollment errors

Aug. 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ga., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Fifty-six percent of employees estimate they waste up to $750 a year because of mistakes made with insurance benefits enrollment, a U.S. survey indicates.

The Open Enrollment Survey of the Aflac Work Forces Report, a survey of 2,516 U.S. consumers conducted in July by Research Now, found nearly 1-in-4 respondents said they chose the wrong level of insurance coverage or benefits options they didn't need. Only 16 percent of employees felt confident they aren't making mistakes during the enrollment process, the survey said.

The Open Enrollment Survey found consumers are on auto pilot when it comes to the benefits selection process and aren't even aware of the options they have.

The survey also found:

-- 61 percent were only sometimes or not at all aware of changes to their policies each year.

-- 89 percent said they simply elect the same benefits options every year.

-- 47 percent rarely or never exceed deductible costs.

-- 16 percent contribute the right amount to flexible spending accounts.

"Workers cannot afford to be in the dark about benefits options," Audrey Boone Tillman, executive vice president of Corporate Services at Aflac, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, everyday lives are changed to meet the high cost of unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses -- 40 percent cut back on social activities, 28 percent skipped a vacation and 22 percent had to work more hours, the survey said.

No margin of error was provided.

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