National Poll Reveals Completing Open Enrollment Beats Running into Your Ex

VSP Vision Care Survey Taps Into Feelings and Behaviors around Annual Health Benefits Sign-Up

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Rancho Cordova, Calif. October 4, 2017 — From feelings and preferences, to behaviors and knowledge, VSP® Vision Care conducted its third annual “Open Talk about Open Enrollment” poll, which took the nation’s pulse on the open enrollment process – the annual ritual of enrolling in insurance benefits through an employer.

Surprising results emerged from this year’s survey. Read on to learn more about how the nation responded to questions related to their vision care preferences and open enrollment.

Is completing open enrollment worse than running into your ex?

Not at all, according to the majority of respondents. Three additional survey questions addressed their various preferences about the process:

In one question, respondents were asked about a list of activities they would choose to never do again. In this case, open enrollment fell low on the list, with most preferring the yearly ritual to activities such as getting a root canal and running into an ex. In whole, the majority preferred to never again do the following, in descending order:

  1. Have a root canal
  2. Run into an ex
  3. Attend a Karaoke birthday party
  4. Watch the same cartoon over and over again to appease a toddler
  5. Complete Open Enrollment
  6. Plan an extended family vacation

The survey also asked respondents to rank (in order of preference) a list of annual to-dos, including open enrollment.  The majority said they’d much rather complete the process over budgeting for the holidays, spring cleaning and trying on swim suits, among eight options, listed below in order.

  1. Completing open enrollment
  2. Budgeting for the holidays
  3. Spring cleaning
  4. Cleaning out a closet
  5. Going to a toddler’s birthday party
  6. Starting a new diet
  7. Raking leaves in the fall
  8. Trying on swimsuits

Lastly, respondents also were asked about their preferences on what they would prioritize 30 minutes for during their day. The majority said that they’d prioritize spending that time completing open enrollment above all other options, including:

  • Completing Open Enrollment
  • Getting an oil change
  • Getting a manicure
  • Waiting in line at a coffee house for their favorite cup of Joe on the morning commute
  • Fitting in a cycling class

Getting a manicure was higher on the priority list for women than it was more for men, while a higher percentage of men prioritized an oil change than did women.

Harboring negative feelings about the process?

Apparently not! Overall, the majority reporting “dread” or “annoyance” was down from 36% in 2016 to 31% this year. On the other hand, respondents reporting “no particular feelings at all” toward completing the open enrollment process were a bit on the rise this year (52%), up from 45% in the 2016 survey.

Interestingly, while there is consistency with having no particular feelings before open enrollment year over year, more respondents in 2017 claim to have no particular feelings after, rather than feeling satisfied or relieved upon completion, as they did in previous years. Perhaps open enrollment season isn’t the emotional rollercoaster some fear after all.

So if gender matters, what about age?

It may be so! When asked about how they react when open enrollment announcements come out, those over the age of 45 (as well as those without children under 18) are more likely to download or set information aside to review with their spouse, compared to their younger counterparts. Ten percent of those under 45 are more likely to talk about benefit selections with their coworkers, compared to only 5% of those over age 45.

Speaking of timing, the survey also revealed that just under half (48%) begin making their open enrollment decisions right away, or plan time to discuss options with their spouse/partner.

Finally, knowing what’s next after retirement:

Preferences, timing and behaviors aside, how much do people actually know about their own open enrollment options in terms of how long they will be covered? Well, it turns out that a majority of respondents are not even aware if their employer offers post-retirement vision insurance benefits.

Just 21% of respondents are aware that their employer offers post-retirement vision insurance benefits, but of those, 82% are likely to enroll. On the contrary, if an employer does not offer post-retirement vision insurance benefits, nearly two-thirds either don’t plan, or don’t yet know if they will obtain these benefits elsewhere, through VSP or otherwise.

Additional results from the 2017 poll are online here. Visit www.SeeMuchMore.com to learn more about the importance of an annual eye exam, how to find an eye doctor in your area, and to determine your vision benefit options. 

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About VSP Global

As a doctor-governed company, VSP Global® exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. VSP Global’s complementary businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for its 84 million members around the world through a network of 38,000 eye doctors; Marchon® Eyewear, Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services,  providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the eye care industry’s largest electronic health records and practice management software company, and VSP Omni-Channel Solutions, which creates connected consumer experiences designed to strengthen the relationship between VSP members and their eye doctors. To date, VSP network doctors have provided eye exams and eyewear at no-cost to over a million people in need through a partnership with VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope®.

 

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