(BPT) - Millennial workers are struggling with financial anxiety more than other generations, according to MetLife's 2022 Open Enrollment survey. As U.S. economic challenges persist, more than half (55%) of millennial workers admit they will soon be at a 'breaking point' with their finances. While the economic landscape has impacted all age groups, only 31% of Gen X and 29% of Boomer employees expressed similar financial woes.
The survey found that over the last 12 months, nearly half (47%) of millennial employees experienced at least one financial difficulty, including increased personal debt, an unexpected medical bill or investment loss, compared to 39% of all employees. This, on top of other challenges, including inflation, rising interest rates and lost value of savings, has certainly made financial wellness harder to reach for this age group.
In light of these economic challenges, it's no surprise that the majority of millennials are seeking ways to improve their financial health this year - just in time for open enrollment season.
Benefits can ease financial anxieties and help support your financial goals
Many millennial employees are struggling to meet their financial ambitions. A quarter (25%) of millennials surveyed wanted to buy a home in the past 12 months, but only half could accomplish this. As millennial employees gear up to achieve life goals and more, this year's open enrollment period is an opportunity to engage and leverage benefits as a financial resource.
MetLife's survey also found that benefits have been critical in improving millennials' financial wellness, with 58% saying their benefits helped them out of financial difficulty this year. However, the data also revealed that some struggle to understand open enrollment and its benefits.
Understanding how to maximize your benefits is essential
Currently, one in two millennial employees struggle to understand their employer's benefits communication. Moreover, 73% of millennials say having a better understanding of open enrollment would make them feel more financially secure.
To strengthen their overall financial health, millennials can learn how employee benefits can be leveraged to provide financial support. This is especially important during open enrollment, as these employees could miss out on overlooked benefits that are not commonly associated with financial wellness but could make a difference for financial security.
Here are some overlooked benefits millennials should keep in mind this enrollment season:
- Hospital Indemnity Insurance: While no one enjoys thinking about a medical emergency, it helps to be prepared. As the average cost of a three-day hospital stay is around $30,0001, hospital indemnity pays you a lump-sum benefit that you can use as you see fit, such as to help cover extra related expenses like deductibles and copays for doctor visits.
- Pet Insurance: As any pet parent knows, pets sometimes consume dangerous things that can lead to expensive veterinarian visits. An uncovered vet visit like this could cost upward of $2,000, but coverage could bring this cost down to around $250, depending on your policy and deductible2. Help to reduce the burden of unexpected veterinary expenses and consider getting your pet covered!
- Legal Insurance: Buying a home is an expensive endeavor. If you're planning to purchase a new home, you may want to consider legal insurance that can help cover thousands of dollars in legal fees during the home-buying process, upward of $6,7003 in some states.
This open enrollment season, benefits like these can help employees keep necessary dollars in their wallets as they navigate the uncertain economy ahead. All employees, but especially those who may be struggling financially, like millennials, should review their benefits and see which could help them become more financially secure.
For helpful open enrollment resources, including videos and articles, more information can be found at MetLife.com/OpenEnrollment.
 Source: Protection from high medical costs. https://www.healthcare.gov/why-coverage-is-important/protection-from-high-medical-costs/. Accessed Sept. 2021.
 Costs/Reimbursement amount derived from internal MetLife Pet 2022 Claim Data from one particular claim dealing with a similar situation. This is not representative of everyone's experience with pet insurance. Coverage underwritten and issued by Independence American Insurance Company ('IAIC'), a Delaware insurance company, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company ('MetGen'), a Rhode Island insurance company, in those states where MetGen's policies are available. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC for complete details. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the authorized policy administrator for this coverage.
 Prices based on the average amount of hours it would take, using the average hourly rate of $391.00 based on years of legal experience, National Law Journal and ALM Legal Intelligence, Survey of Law Firm Economics (2021); Savings may vary. This estimate is based on an average monthly rate for MetLife Legal Plans of $20.