It’s been one year since the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, and according to a new study, some US LGBT employees are definitely taking advantage of their new employment-based benefits, but many are still unaware of what is available to them.
The Lincoln Financial Group just released a special report: M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook, and Direction) of America on Employee Benefits. According to this report, 28 percent of LGBT employees reevaluated or adjusted their benefits through their work since the Supreme Court’s ruling. The percentage rises to 35 percent when you consider just those LGBT individuals who are married or in a domestic partnership. And we’re not just talking about health insurance; in fact, the highest levels of change were in nonmedical coverages, including life, disability and dental insurance.
Eric Reisenwitz, Lincoln Financial Group’s head of product and operations for group benefits explained: “These employees are looking at the big picture. They’re not just thinking about the most familiar benefits, such as medical insurance…As a result of the ruling, LGBT employees are reevaluating ancillary coverages that can help protect themselves and their families — for example, disability and life insurance. These types of benefits help employees prepare for the unexpected, giving them a better sense of overall security and financial well-being.”
That being said, 50 percent of LGBT employees are still not fully aware of how last year’s ruling impacts their benefits. Lisa Buckingham, Lincoln Financial Group’s Chief Human Resources Officer, explained: “Many LGBT employees are engaged and taking action with their benefits, which is great to see…However, there’s still room for employers to boost these numbers. When we have a major legal change like this, employers need to proactively educate their employees on its effects. If we can help an even greater percentage of LGBT employees understand the ruling’s implications, they will be able to truly get the most value out of their benefits packages and take charge of their financial futures.”
So to all our readers who have not look into their workplace benefits in the last year, make sure you contact your HR representative and find out what you are entitled to! Good luck!