Relatively few employers have revamped their benefit programs in response to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a survey by Employee Benefit News and Unum found. Nor or they planning to drop health benefits after 2014, when insurance purchasing exchanges are slated to come on line.
Many of the benefits decision makers surveyed expressed opposition to the PPACA, with 42 percent of employee benefit managers saying they wanted the Supreme Court to rule that the law is unconstitutional. Twenty-four percent said they did not want the Court to toss out the law, and 35% said they weren’t sure.
Among other findings from the survey:
- More than a quarter of survey respondents said they intend to increase their investments in wellness programs to improve employee health and lower medical costs. Programs include gym memberships, weight loss support, incentives for quitting smoking and personal health assessments.
- Voluntary benefits continue to play an increasingly important role, with 80% of employee benefits decision makers saying that they offered some form of voluntary benefits to their workers. In our experience, an expansion of their voluntary benefits program has been the best way to continue to offer employees the benefits they want while controlling costs. A well-designed voluntary insurance program can help reduce overall health care costs for workers and employers by filling gaps in core medical plan coverage, allowing people to tailor their coverage to meet their personal situations, and making it more affordable for workers to seek preventative care.
- Senior executives are playing a greater role in benefit management decisions, including at larger firms. For example, 10% of survey respondents from organizations with at least 2,000 employees report that the role of senior executives in employee benefit decision-making “increased substantially.” We are finding that CFOs are increasingly partnering with HR in making these decisions, and they bring their own concerns to the table. He or she may be concerned about the cost as well as the potential risk associated with handing over employees’ sensitive health care or financial data to employee benefits outsourcing company.
- Employers are relying more on brokers and consultants for support, especially among those with between 1,000 and 1,999 employees. A recent Deloitte study found that employers were pleased with the performance of their outsourced HR solutions, with 25 percent of respondents in that survey saying they planned to increase their use of outsourced HR services.
Winston Benefits is a HR solutions company that helps businesses automate and streamline their employee benefit programs. Custom designed and developed client specific solutions help enrich their total compensation and rewards programs while optimizing processes such as benefit communications, enrollment and administration.