BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Dec 18, 2012) -  Traditional approaches to employee education on benefits won't do in a healthcare-reform world, Patrick J. Haraden, a principal of Longfellow Benefits, a Boston-based consulting firm, writes in the November issue of Benefits Magazine. 

Benefits education is an afterthought for most employers, typically only occurring when the employee has a specific issue or problem, he writes. Open-enrollment meetings for existing employees are sparsely attended. New-hire orientations usually provide only a cursory overview of employee benefits instead of an in-depth discussion of benefits or enrollment help. 

PPACA should change both employers' benefits education strategy and employee interest. Some employers will now want to separate new-hire orientation into a two or three-part process, with one part solely on employee benefits, Haraden writes.

"Employers should replace 'open enrollment' with 'employee education,' and make it an integral part of their employee benefits strategy," he writes. "Similar to what is provided to 401(k) plan participants regarding their investment choices by the employers' retirement plan advisor, with healthcare and other benefits employers should offer individualized employee education. In the end, it should result in a greater appreciation and understanding of the value of the benefits provided, and the rationale for providing them by the employer."

The full article, "Employee Education in a Health Care Reform World," can be read at

Haraden, CEBS, CLU, ChFC, REBC, RHU, MBA, can be reached at 617-351-6054 or

Serving organizations in New England and nationally, Longfellow Benefits provides consulting services on employee benefits and executive benefits. Longfellow Benefits has been named to Boston Business Journal's Best Places to Work seven years in a row. For more information, visit or call 617-351-6000.

Contact Information:

Henry Stimpson
Stimpson Communications