As the trend toward voluntary, or employee-paid, benefits continues to grow, employees are increasingly facing more benefits choices during annual enrollment. The Hartford has enhanced its benefits education resources to help consumers better understand benefits and make informed decisions during the upcoming enrollment season. The benefits provider mobilized its main digital educational tool, expanded an awareness campaign, and added customer stories to its websites. “There’s a fundamental shift in our industry to voluntary benefits that puts the purchase in the hands of employees,” said Mike Fish, vice president of The Hartford’s voluntary benefits. “The Hartford is 100 percent committed to responding with creative solutions that support employees during the decision-making and purchasing process. Our No. 1 focus is empowering consumers so that they can make informed decisions about benefits and protect the life that they’ve built.” The Hartford’s annual consumer survey showed a need for consumers to protect their income. The Hartford 2013 Benefits For Tomorrow Study1 found 60 percent of full-time employees have someone else relying on their paycheck, including a spouse, children, and even parents. The Hartford’s research also found consumers are likely to turn to their spouses, co-workers, and parents for help with benefits decisions. They want to hear from people whom they can relate. That’s why The Hartford is providing a way for its customers who have used life and disability insurance to tell others about their experiences – in their own words. The user-generated content has been added to The Hartford’s main website ( thehartford.com), The Hartford at Work website ( www.thehartfordatwork.com), MyTomorrow website, ( www.thehartford.com/mytomorrow), and its online enrollment platform. “We view the addition of customers’ stories to our websites as a valuable part of our educational efforts. We believe that employees will better understand the value of insurance benefits after hearing directly from customers how the coverage helped them,” Fish added.