7 in 10 Workers Await Benefits Info as Deadline Nears

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media , August 30, 2013

By law, employers must notify employees of health insurance benefits policy changes and coverage options by October 1. But a survey shows that 69% of workers have not yet received communications about any benefit policy changes.

Sparse information about what to expect from employer-sponsored health plans this fall is stirring anxiety among employees already challenged to comprehend the fundamentals of health insurance.

As mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers must notify employees of benefits policy changes and coverage options for the open enrollment season by October 1. But an open enrollment survey of 2,001 U.S. consumers shows that 69% of workers had not yet received communications about any upcoming benefit policy changes.

See Also: 'Dismal' Understanding of Health Plans Among Consumers

The survey, conducted by Research Now, and released Tuesday by the Columbus, OH-based insurer Aflac, shows that 28% of employees are "confused, worried, or simply unsure" about upcoming changes their employer is making to their healthcare benefits or coverage options this enrollment season due to the healthcare law.

Only 9% of companies at this time are reportedly "very prepared" to implement requirements of the PPACA. Employers' lack of preparation may be the hold-up behind the delay in communications around benefits changes, concludes the report.  

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1 comments on "7 in 10 Workers Await Benefits Info as Deadline Nears"

John C Parker, RHU, LTCP (8/31/2013 at 5:40 PM)
The DOL's initial model letter for employers to use to inform all employees about the availability in their state, on Oct 1st, of the Health Insurance Marketplace. The initial model was a proposal and the DOL quickly heard about various issues. e.g. many employers could not project the value of the plan they will use in 2014. Guidance has been released informally in the last week or so thus employers, who know about the requirement will be getting them to employees. The words in the letter do not have to be the same as the model and it will be possible for a small employer to use a one page letter.


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