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September 24, 2019

NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 24, 2019 — Almost two-thirds of American workers did not automatically choose the same benefits as the previous year, indicating they are putting more thought into their choices during open enrollment, “Employee Insights on Open Enrollment," a new survey released by Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU) today, shows.

“Now the next big opportunity for employers is to think about how to tailor those communications for populations most likely to need them. ”

Leston Welsh,
Head of Products,

Prudential Group Insurance


The survey of 2,000 employed adults, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Prudential, found that just 35% of working adults chose the same benefits as the previous year. Further, those who took on a new job, an elevated role, or received a raise were even more likely to select new benefits. In most cases, the 65% who chose new benefits credited their employer for using a variety of communication methods to keep them informed.

“Now the next big opportunity for employers is to think about how to tailor those communications for populations most likely to need them such as new employees, employees in new roles, employees who received a raise or promotion, and those likely to experience a life change,” said Leston Welsh, head of products at Prudential Group Insurance.

Even the 35% who chose the same benefits made an informed decision rather than simply checking the same boxes for convenience, according to the survey. Of those choosing the same benefits, 74% said they did so because they believed those benefits were still appropriate for them. However, those who selected new benefits were more likely to say their benefits reduced their financial stress (79%) than those who selected the same benefits as the previous year (62%).

American workers comfortable with automatic enrollment

A majority of American workers (58%) also said that if auto-enrolled in an insurance policy, they would likely keep it rather than opt out. Just 5% said they would opt out, and 37% said they would consider the cost before deciding whether to stick with it.

While the findings suggest most individuals would be comfortable with being defaulted into an insurance plan, there are still misconceptions about insurance benefits that can affect their decision-making, Welsh explained.

“Many individuals assume that non-health insurance benefits cost more than they actually do (e.g., the average annual premium for voluntary critical illness insurance is $3251) and they are hesitant to buy something they don’t think they will use,” Welsh said.

“But the reality is that a serious illness will set most Americans back financially much more than $325 if they don’t have income protection in place. Auto-enrollment is a powerful tool that can help ease uncertainty and take the pressure off during the decision-making process.”

When offered by an employer, the non-health insurance benefits most likely to be selected are life insurance (79%), accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance (70%), short-term disability (69%), long-term disability (65%), accident insurance (63%), and hospital indemnity insurance (62%).


This poll was conducted by Morning Consult from Aug. 27 to 28, 2019, among a national sample of 2,000 employed adults ages 18+ enrolled in at least one insurance benefit through their employer. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.


Click here to read additional insights from the survey.


About Prudential Group Insurance

Prudential Group Insurance manufactures and distributes a full range of group life, long-term and short-term disability and corporate and trust-owned life insurance in the U.S. to institutional clients primarily for use within employee and membership benefit plans. The business also sells critical illness, accidental death and dismemberment and other ancillary coverages. In addition, the business provides plan and administrative services in connection with its insurance coverages, and administrative services for employee paid and unpaid leave, including FMLA, ADA and PFL.

About Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial wellness leader and premier active global investment manager with more than $1 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2019,  has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees help to make lives better by creating financial opportunity for more people. Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit


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1 “Voluntary Critical Illness Products 2019 SpotlightTM Report,” Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. 2019.


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Anjelica Sena