Benefit managers surveyed in Eastbridge’s Market Vision™ The Employer Viewpoint Spotlight™ Report were asked how likely they are to make several different changes to the benefits program in the next 18 months. Compared to 2014, most are somewhat less likely to make any changes with the exception of adding a new voluntary product/line. When looking at large employers (those with 500 or more employees) in particular, the results are even more pronounced. More than a one-third of this group is considering significant changes to their benefits portfolio, specifically in the areas of adding a new voluntary product or moving an existing benefit to voluntary. They also indicated being significantly less likely to shift the cost of group plans to employees or to drop specific benefits completely in 2016.
The most common voluntary products offered by employers today are dental, short-term disability and vision. Accident followed in the fourth position, while long-term disability, cancer and prescription drug coverage all tied for fifth. Non-traditional products continue to grow in popularity as a voluntary offering, particularly for employers with more than 1,000 employees. With the exception of legal coverage, which remained steady, all of the other non-traditional benefits included in the survey (auto/home, ID theft, pet) experienced growth as a voluntary option in 2016.
Almost half (47 percent) of the employers surveyed are using more than four carriers for their voluntary coverage, which is a significant increase over 2012 and 2014. This is particularly true with larger employers where 71 percent of those with between 2,500 and 9,999 employees and 92 percent of employers with 10,000+ employees use more than four voluntary carriers.
Market Vision™ The Employer Viewpoint, a Spotlight™ Report
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Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.