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How the pandemic is impacting employee open enrollment

Posted at 2:26 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 17:26:24-04

Open enrollment is coming up for millions of U.S. workers – but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the way employees are evaluating their benefits has seen a dramatic shift as employees remain anxious about their own financial security.

In fact, a new MetLife survey shows employees are placing much greater importance on the benefits election process than they did last year, and many are expressing a newfound determination to improve their financial health. Additionally, given the influx of major life changes being precipitated by the pandemic, many workers are showing a notable shift in interest to specific benefits, as well as intentions to take more time reviewing their choices.

Survey highlights include:

  • Nearly half of workers say open enrollment is more important this year than it was in 2019 – with two in three citing a COVID-19 reason, and one in three citing personal finance issues
  • Three in four workers say there are specific benefits they’re more interested in this year
  • 69% say improving their financial health is a big goal this year, and 45% say they feel insecure about some aspect of their finances

About Meredith Ryan-ReidMeredith Ryan-Reid serves as senior vice president of MetLife’s Distribution Development & Benefits Delivery organization. This team is responsible for global broker relationship management, third party distribution development, voluntary benefits strategy and enrollment, and PlanSmart® Financial Wellness. She was named to this position in February 2016.

Prior to her current role, Ryan-Reid led the Accident & Health (A&H) group and the Product Specialist Organization for MetLife’s Group Benefits. She was responsible for the overall growth, profitability, and product offerings for the A&H business, which included Critical Illness, Accident, Cancer Insurance, Hospital Indemnity, and Whole Life. It also included the Product Center of Excellence, which provided product expertise and training for the field and key intermediates.

Ryan-Reid joined MetLife in November 2013 from Starr Companies, where she ran the North American Accident and Health Division. Before joining Starr, she worked on the brokerage side of the industry, producing new business and managing large client relationships for Marsh and Mercer. Prior to Marsh, Ryan-Reid spent ten years on the insurance carrier side of the business in underwriting, sales and management roles at both CIGNA and AIG.

Outside of work, Ryan-Reid volunteers her time and serves on the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). She also serves as her alumni class president and is a member of the Johnson School Advisory Council at Cornell University’s business school.

She received her MBA from Cornell and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters.