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Inflation’s Impact on 2024 Open Enrollment

Many employees continue to feel financially strained because of inflation. With open enrollment fast approaching, inflation could impact the choices employees make when it comes to their benefits. Specifically, employees are likely to consider which benefits matter the most and how to optimize the money they spend on those offerings. As a result, this year’s open enrollment may be more challenging than usual for employers and benefits providers.

This article explores how inflation is impacting employees’ benefits selections and approaches to open enrollment and outlines what employers can do to help.

How Inflation Impacts Employees

According to The Hartford’s Future of Benefits Pulse Survey, 63% of U.S. workers feel their financial stress has increased over the past year. To prepare for a possible recession, workers reported engaging in the following activities:

  • Cutting back on day-to-day expenses (40%)
  • Paying off debt (30%)
  • Increasing contributions to savings or investment accounts (23%)
  • Looking for a higher-paying job (19%)
  • Getting a second job to increase their household income (17%)

Due to the financial stress inflation is placing on employees, many of these individuals will be looking to their employers to help them optimize their benefits selections, including retirement savings, health care, health savings accounts and voluntary benefits (e.g., critical illness, hospital indemnity, disability income or accident insurance). 

As more employees are watching their hard-earned dollars, they likely will spend more time reviewing their benefits selections than in previous years.

Approaching Open Enrollment

Many employees want to optimize what they spend on their benefits and are looking to their employers for help and guidance. When left on their own, they may be rushing through the selection process or simply make the same benefits choices as they did in the prior year.

In fact, a recent Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey revealed that nearly three-quarters (72%) of adults spent less than one hour deciding on their health plans during open enrollment. By understanding how employees approach their benefits selections, employers can help them make better choices during this year’s open enrollment season.

What Employers Can Do to Help

Inflation has placed employee benefits at the forefront of many employers’ attraction and retention strategies. Employers can take steps now to help their employees better understand their benefits options and make more informed decisions. This can, in turn, help employees better protect themselves and their families in the upcoming year.


Contact us today for more help regarding employee benefits.

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