Open Talk About Open Enrollment: 5 Surprising Ways Americans React to the Annual Process

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(BPT) – We all have annual to-do’s – from filing our taxes to celebrating our birthdays, these once-a-year rituals are in the fabric of our lives. Some tasks we enjoy more than others, but each holds significance. One of these important yearly tasks is selecting your insurance benefits at work during what is commonly referred to as open enrollment. With the stresses of work and life already bearing down on us, having to choose from a sometimes complicated set of benefit options can be a struggle. But is this process really so bad? How do people really feel about open enrollment?

For the second year in a row, VSP Vision Care, the nation’s only not-for-profit vision care company, conducted the ‘Open Talk About Open Enrollment’ national survey to get to the bottom of what this time period really means for people – and some of it may surprise you.

Here are five key takeaways revealed by the 2016 survey:

1. You may not know it, but you’re probably not looking forward to it.

More than a third (36 percent) of respondents reported approaching open enrollment with ‘dread’ or ‘annoyance.’ However, more than half (53 percent) of respondents felt ‘satisfied’ or ‘relieved’ when the process was over.

2. Most people take their time with the open enrollment process, but don’t push the deadline.

Among all respondents, the majority (54 percent) chose ‘Relaxed Rule Follower’ (not early, not last-minute) to describe the timeliness with which they actually complete open enrollment. Just over a third (35 percent) chose ‘Eager Completer’ (get it done right away) and the remaining respondents (11 percent) went with ‘Persistent Procrastinator’ (put it off until the last possible moment).

3. The ultimate question: open enrollment or doing your taxes?

In a list of other annual to-dos, open enrollment landed in the middle when survey respondents were asked to rank in order what they would most like to do:

1. Doing your taxes
2. Celebrating your birthday
3. Completing open enrollment
4. Doing holiday shopping
5. Getting your yearly physical

4. Public speaking trumps all.

When included on a list of possible things to never have to do again, open enrollment came in last, with the majority preferring instead to eliminate speaking in public, waiting in an airport security line, and going to the dentist (in that order) from the rest of their lives.

5. Vision plan knowledge and importance are up.

The number of respondents who reported feeling ‘more knowledgeable’ about their vision benefits increased by 11 points this year (66 percent compared to 55 percent in the 2015 survey). Additionally, the number of respondents who ranked having a vision plan as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ was up by 10 points (83 percent compared to 73 percent in 2015). Vision care is typically one of the easiest, quickest and least expensive benefit options to review and select. When it comes to vision care, just ‘check the box’. Learn more at www.SeeMuchMore.com.

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