In a tight talent market, most employers reconsider benefits offers – InsuranceNewsNet

NEW YORK – June 1, 2022 In the past 12 months, two trends — a growing war for talent and rapidly rising health care costs — have caused employers to rethink their benefits policies, plan designs and offerings. Nearly half of employers (45%) list “challenges related to rapid growth and/or higher than normal turnover” as their top strategic HR obstacle. And, with US healthcare spending projected to grow 47% by 2028, two-thirds of employers say they want to implement an innovative benefit cost-containment solution.

Here are some of NFP’s key findings US Employer Benefits Surveythe company’s inaugural survey of HR decision makers, released alongside its annual data-driven survey US Earnings Trends Report 2022which includes expert commentary and actionable insights for employers to address today’s unique workplace challenges.

“In the wake of the pandemic, a tight job market and shifting employee priorities, the workforce has changed dramatically, as have its needs,” said Kim Bell, executive vice president, chief health and benefits officer, NFP. “It’s more important than ever for employers to get the benefits right, and those that respond with policies and offerings that promote mental health, access to quality healthcare, and work-life integration will be tomorrow’s talent leaders.” .

High-growth, high-turnover rapid profit reset

According to the report, employers’ top options for improving employee satisfaction center around more options for benefits and personalization (37%) and better communication/education (33%), underscored by the majority of employers starting a job. “readjustment” of benefits with a view to mental well-being and flexibility of employees.

Over the last 12-18 months, 65% of employers surveyed have implemented alternative work schedules, and three in four intend to make it permanent. Two-thirds have adjusted their PTO and leave policies to support employee mental wellness. More than half offer mental health resources online. Roughly a third provide in-office health counseling (35%) and mental health resources (29%), and 22% invest in peer support groups.

“Nearly every component of employee wellness — mental, physical, financial, social, career — has been affected in the last two years, prompting employees to rethink their job and benefits priorities,” said Deb Smolensky. , Director of Well-being and Commitment. , PNF. “While employees want fulfilling work experiences, they want their lives, not their jobs, to come first. The goal is no longer work-life balance, but work-life integration.”

When it comes to time away from work, employers are also expanding the variety and prevalence of leave options. In the past year, more than half (54%) have reviewed or changed their leave policies. Nearly one in three employers plan to offer marriage leave (33%), enhanced bereavement leave (32%), and sabbatical leave (29%). More than two in ten will offer study/examination leave (22%) and volunteering leave (21%), while 13% will offer surrogate maternity leave.

Employers seek cost containment strategies

In a context of rapidly growing healthcare spending, two-thirds of employers want innovative cost-containment solutions. More than half (53%) would need the cost savings percentage to be between 11% and 15% to implement a cost containment solution.

When considering cost containment, roughly three-quarters of employers believe each of the following are important factors: increasing employee access to quality providers (83%), cost transparency (79%), reduce members’ out-of-pocket costs for pharmaceuticals. costs (79%), ROI (74%), and member disruption (74%).

“Member responsibility and consumerism were top priorities for an employer to reduce benefit expenses,” notes Heidi Cottle, director of Cost Containment Strategies, NFP. “Today, employers realize ‘full cost transparency’ and holding the provider accountable is also essential. Next-generation plan design simplifies the complexity of the health care ecosystem by adding incentives that encourage informed decisions about access, quality and cost.”

Other key survey findings related to cost containment include:

  • Increased prescription costs: Employers are concerned about the rising cost of prescription drugs. The majority (93%) are at least somewhat concerned and two-thirds (68%) are very concerned. They have seen the most significant spending increases on commonly used brand name drugs (33%) and specialty drugs (30%). To date, benefit design has had the most positive impact on reducing prescription spending (22%).

Healthcare delivery alternatives: More than one in three employers (36%) cite “cost containment” as the top factor in considering health care delivery alternatives. Half have introduced virtual solutions in mental health (55%) and primary care (54%) in the last 18 to 24 months. About a third have implemented virtual solutions for urgent care (37%) and emergency care (31%).

Research methodology

inauguration of the NFP US Employer Benefits Survey it was administered online in February and March 2022 and includes 563 respondents. Survey participants work in Human Resources, make decisions about employee benefits, and work for organizations with at least $1 million in annual revenue with at least 100 employees. In addition, the annual NFP program US Earnings Trends Report supports employers with data generated from the company’s proprietary benchmarking database of more than 4,000 employers of all sizes. Here’s NFP’s 2022 US Earnings Trends Report.

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