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Breaking News: Employees Don't Understand Their Health Benefits

Today we learn that STDs are rising rapidly in the over-50 crowd, which somehow seems sort of surprising. What's not surprising, however, is a new ADP survey that says more than one-third of employees don't know anything about their health benefits.

According to the press release:
A new ADP® survey shows a wide gap between the goals and reality of how employees understand their benefit plans. Eighty percent of HR decision makers believe it's important for employees to fully understand their benefit options, yet they estimate only about 60% of their own employees do – a finding with serious implications for how companies communicate one of the most important parts of their employees' total compensation.

"With many employees asked to take on greater responsibility for managing their own benefits, there is room for improvement by HR departments to engage employees in the decision-making process," said Tim Clifford, President of Benefits Services at ADP, Inc., a leading provider of human resources management, payroll and benefits administration services. "With the power of web-based and mobile technologies and decision support tools, we have new, innovative and cost-effective ways of educating employees and helping them make critical choices anytime and anywhere."

And the information gap isn't likely to improve: ADP tells us that two-thirds (66%) of midsized employers and more than one-third (36%) of large employers don't have a communications budget for helping employees better understand their benefits.

So as you sit online at work getting lost clicking random links on the health provider's website trying to see which doctors are in network, just know that you're not alone because at least four in 10 of your co-workers don't know what they're doing, either. But everything's online, which is supposed to make the whole process innovative, convenient and easier, right? Right. Easier and convenient for who, though? That's the real question.

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