VSP’s Second Annual “Open Talk about Open Enrollment” National Survey Takes the Pulse of the Nation

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Open enrollment season has officially begun, and that means VSP is once again encouraging people to keep vision care top of mind during the annual process of selecting employer-offered benefits.  Vision care is typically one of the quickest and least expensive benefit options to renew or select, and we want to make sure that “easy” doesn’t become “easy to dismiss.”

For the second year in a row, to raise awareness of how people feel and behave when it comes to open enrollment, and to encourage people to enroll in vision care, we conducted the “Open Talk about Open Enrollment” poll. See what the survey revealed below.

To learn more about VSP Vision Care, visit seemuchmore.com.

Open Talk about Open Enrollment Poll: Full Explanation of Findings

The poll asked 1,000 respondents a series of questions in regard to their feelings and behavior toward Open Enrollment.

Which one of the following best describes your feelings toward Open Enrollment each year before you complete it?

Excitement 9%

Eagerness 10%

No particular feelings at all  45%

Annoyance 21%

Dread 15%

 

Which one of the following best describes your feelings toward Open Enrollment each year after you complete it?

Confident 10%

Satisfied 28%

No particular feelings at all 22%

Relieved 25%

Uncertain 15%

 

What is the very first thing you do when each year’s Open Enrollment announcement comes out?

Begin deciding on my selections right away 30%

Ignore it completely knowing they’ll remind me later 8%

Download or set aside information to review 14%

Add it to my to-do list or calendar 13%

Plan time to discuss it with my spouse or legally covered partner 21%

Talk to my coworkers about it 8%

Groan out loud 4%

Other: answers included “Talk to my wife” 2%

 

When it comes to the timeliness with which you actually complete Open Enrollment, would you describe yourself as…

“Relaxed Rule Follower” (I’m not early, I’m not last minute. I get it done somewhere in the middle of the time period, just like I’m supposed to.”) 54%

“Eager Completer” (I get it done right away, as early as possible) 49%

“Persistent Procrastinator” (I keep putting it off and end up doing it at the last possible moment) 15%

*Males statistically significantly complete Open Enrollment sooner (within hours) compared to females. Females statistically significantly complete Open Enrollment later (within weeks) compared to males.

 

Which of the following benefits are typically among those offered by your employer during Open Enrollment? Please select all that apply.

Life insurance 67%

Disability insurance 55%

Medical plan 95%

Dental plan 85%

Vision plan 76%

FSA (Flexible Spending Account) 55%

Other: responses included HSA (Health Spending Account) 3%

 

Takeaway: The top three benefits typically offered by employers during Open Enrollment include a Medical Plan, Dental Plan and Vision Plan. There is a statistical difference between 2015 and 2016 findings for Medical Plan (84% vs. 95%, respectively), Dental Plan (71% vs. 85%, respectively) and Vision Plan (61% vs. 76%, respectively).

Respondents were also asked more complicated questions about their decision-making process around making benefit selections, the importance of each benefit offered to them, their knowledge and confidence in their choices, and the relationships between it all. They were also asked about independent insurance purchasing decisions in comparison to Open Enrollment choices.

Please rate how important the following benefits are to you (and your family)

Ranked the most important were Medical (84%), Dental (64%) and Vision (50%) benefits.

 

Please rate how important the following benefits are to you (and your family).

Question Very Important Important Neither Important or Unimportant Unimportant Not at all important Not applicable
Life insurance 38% 37% 16% 5% 2% 2%
Disability insurance 33% 35% 22% 5% 2% 3%
Medical plan 84% 14% 2% 0% 0% 0%
Dental plan 64% 28% 6% 1% 0% 1%
Vision plan 50% 33% 12% 5% 2% 1%
FSA (Flexible Spending Account 21% 23% 30% 11% 8% 7%

 

*Males statistically significantly rank (Top 2 Box) the importance of a Dental plan higher than females.

Females statistically significantly rank (Top Box) the importance of a Vision plan higher than males.

 

Why is vision insurance important to you? Please select all that apply.

Yearly eye exams are important to my health/the health of my family. 59%

I have vision impairment/need 53%

Someone in my family has a vision impairment/need 25%

I want to be sure my children have proper vision care for their success 19%

 

Do you typically enroll in the vision insurance option if it is available to you through your employer?

Yes 92%

No 8%

 

You said that vision insurance is important to you, but that you typically do not enroll in the vision coverage offered by your employer. Why do you choose not to enroll in this benefit if you value this insurance option? Please select all that apply.

(65 Responses)

I enroll in vision benefits offered through my spouse’s plan 26%

I think the coverage is too expensive 26%

I would rather pay out-of-pocket for my vision care needs 23%

Other: answers included “Spouses coverage is better” 20%

I do not have a vision impairment/need 20%

 

Respondents were asked to rank each of the following benefit options by filling in the text box with the most applicable rating (scale 1 -5) 1= LEAST knowledgeable 5= MOST knowledgeable

How knowledgeable are you about your choices for this benefit each year?

How easy is it to evaluate and make a choice regarding this benefit each year?

How confident are you that you make the best choice regarding the options for this benefit each year?

 

Would you say you mainly make decisions about your Open Enrollment choices by yourself or in consultation with one or more other people?

I mainly make Open Enrollment choices by myself  67%

I mainly make Open Enrollment choices in consultation with one or more other people. 33%

 

In the previous question you said “I mainly make Open Enrollment choice by myself”. Now please choose the statement below that best characterizes how you make those choices.

(666 total responses)

I re-evaluate everything from scratch each year 52%

I automatically pick up the same options I chose the preceding year 38%

Honestly, I mostly guess 8%

Other: answers included “I pick what I can hopefully afford” 2%

 

In the previous question you said “I mainly make Open Enrollment choices in consultation with one or more other people”. Now please choose the statement below that best characterizes how you make those choices.

(334 total responses)

I discuss my options with my spouse or legally covered partner  70%

I discuss my options with other family members 14%

I discuss my options with someone in the benefits field or another knowledgeable professional 9%

I ask my colleagues or friends what they’re choosing 5%

Honestly, we mostly guess 1%

Other: answers included “my wife”  1%

 

What things going on in your personal life or in the world at large influence the choices you make in Open Enrollment? (select all that apply)

My health  84%

The health of my family  56%

National economy  14%

Local economy 11%

Political issues 6%

The stability of my employer 25%

The stability of my particular job/career 24%

The stability of my finances 47%

How much money I have in the bank at that time 19%

My optimism about the future in general 29%

Other: answers included “retirement” and “Cost of copay” 2%

 

For each of the following questions select the answer that comes closest to what you would say…

When thinking about choices you make about insurance you purchase independently (such as, auto, home-owners) versus the choices you make about employer-offered benefits during open enrollment

Respondents were also asked to describe themselves in terms of timeliness with which they actually complete Open Enrollment and more specifically about the time frame in which they complete the process (within hours, days, or weeks after Open Enrollment begins.)

 For each of the following questions select the answer that comes closest to what you would say:

Question “I know for sure off the top of my head.” “I have some idea, but I could be wrong.” “I don’t have a clue; I’d have to look it up.” “My spouse keeps track of that sort of thing.”
Do you know who your healthcare coverage is provided by? 82% 13% 4% 1%
What is your co-pay at the doctor’s office? 66% 25% 9% 1%
Do you know who your vision care provider is? 65% 20% 14% 1%
Are you eligible for new glasses this year? 63% 22% 14% 1%
How much are you withholding for your FSA plan this year? 59% 15% 22% 4%
What is your detectable on your medical plan? 48% 36% 14% 1%
What do you pay for generic prescriptions? 47% 20% 21% 1%
What your dental plan covers? 37% 42% 20% 2%

 

 When thinking about choices you make about insurance you purchase independently (such as, auto, home-owners) versus the choices you make about employer-offered benefits during open enrollment: Which statement most accurately reflects…

 For each of the following pairs of options, please choose the one you would RATHER do compared to the other. Would you rather…

Complete Open Enrollment (87%) or Read another article about the Kardashian family (14%)

Complete Open Enrollment (85%) or Wait in line at the DMV (15%)

Complete Open Enrollment (83%) or Debate politics with friends on Facebook (17%)

Complete Open Enrollment (79%) or Try to explain the internet to your grandparents (22%)

Complete Open Enrollment (78%) or Watch another presidential debate (22%)

Please rank the following annual “to-do’s” in order of preference where 1=least preferred 5=most preferred

graphs2

If you had the option, which of the following would you choose to NEVER have to do again?

 

Answer Percentage
Speak in public 31%
Wait in an airport security line 29%
Go to the dentist 26%
Complete the Open Enrollment process 14%

 

Takeaway: Respondents significantly would rather complete the Open Enrollment process than speak in public, wait in an airport security line, or go to the dentist ever again.

 

Males would prefer if they never had to complete the process for open enrollment again, while females would prefer never to speak in public again.

 

To learn more about VSP vision care, visit www.SeeMuchMore.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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