After reading a recent article written by editorial staff at Employee Benefit News titled, “Parity noted for online vs. face-to-face enrollment,” (link to article) it seemed necessary to get another expert opinion. Surveys and research has been done in order to understand the pros and cons of both of these enrollment methods. According to Employee Benefit News research suggests, “The value of cyberspace during open enrollment is at least on equal footing with face time, suggest two recent unpublished surveys of employees and carriers that sell voluntary benefit plans. Neither communication method appears to be proving itself superior.”
In a conversation on this topic with Brian Hassan, one of BayPoint Benefit’s founders he said, “I feel that both methods are important. It truly depends on the demographic of the employee base. For those companies that are more tech-savvy, there should be a greater emphasis on the efficient leveraging of technology. On the other hand, those companies whose employees are less tech proficient may prefer the face-to-face. A mix of approaches should be used for most companies. Especially considering that most benefits decisions are made at home, technology should not be overlooked as an effective communication medium.”
It’s very important as an employee or an employer to understand the pros and cons to both methods. If you are having a difficult time deciding on which method to use, you should speak with your benefits consultant.