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March 16, 2018

5 employee benefits trends organizations are implementing nationwide

Changes in the business climate, the economy, the regulatory environment and workforce demographics all create dynamics that affect employee benefits offerings. How exactly are employers responding to continually rising health care costs? There are five key employee benefits trends organizations are implementing nationwide:

Health care benefits

Historically, health care benefits have been a near-universal offering among employers. In 2017, less than 4% of employers declined to offer health care benefits. Of the roughly 96% of respondents that offer health care coverage, 69% chose to offer a PPO plan. Similar to the past two years, PPO plans are the plans most frequently offered, a figure that has remained largely unchanged over the past few years. Annual worker and employer contributions for individual and family coverage also remained similar to 2015. More than half of employers contribute $5,000 or less for worker individual premiums annually and $10,000 or less for worker family premiums annually.

Are your health care offerings competitive? Check out this report to find out.

Prescription drug plan

As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), applicable large employers are required to offer prescription drug coverage as an essential health benefit. To help manage prescription drug costs, the majority of employers are using three tiers for cost sharing. Other cost-management strategies and their prevalence can be found in this 2017 employee benefits benchmark report.

Short-term disability insurance

Short-term disability (STD) coverage remains a fairly popular way for employers to add value to their benefits programs, with 56.3% continuing to offer coverage since two years ago. That figure is down nearly 10 percentage points from 2015. Over half of employers pay the premium for this type of insurance.

Long-term disability insurance

Currently, long-term disability (LTD) insurance is offered by nearly 57% of employers, and 64% of those plans are completely employer funded. This is a drop from 63% in 2015 and 68% in 2013.

Voluntary benefits

Voluntary benefits are benefits that employees can pick and choose, offered in addition to employees’ core compensation and benefits packages. For most voluntary insurance offerings, employees pay 100% of the premiums. While voluntary benefits include traditional mainstays like dental insurance, disability insurance and AD&D insurance, many employers have begun to offer or are considering offering nontraditional voluntary benefits. Discover the most common group, nontraditional group and individual voluntary benefits here.

Learning about what other organizations in your area and industry are offering can help you identify your plan’s strengths and weaknesses in order to fortify your recruitment, retention, and group health and welfare efforts.


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