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Benefits Survey

By September 21, 2018Commentary

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans tracks trends in employee benefits around the world and issues periodic reports and surveys.  One recently issues discusses benefit trends.   (IFEBP Survey)   The survey results came from 677 respondent companies in the US varying in size from 50 to over 10,000 employees.   On average, benefits account for 32% of total payroll costs, but for 36% of employers they are 40% or more.  Health plans are the predominant cost in employee benefits.  59% of employers offer a high-deductible plan, 40% paid it with an HSA and 8% with an HRA.  The average deductible across all plans is $1491 for a single and $2788 for a family.  Only 7% of single employees have no deductible, as do 7% of those with family coverage.  Employees pay 23% of total premium for a single plan and 31% for family coverage, an amount which has been consistent for several years.  The top five cost containment methods that employers report using are case management by 70%, prior authorization and other utilization management by 65%, health claim review and analytics–61%, nurslings–58% and telemedicine–54%.

Outside of health benefits, most benefits are “voluntary”, that is the employee pays the full cost.  59% of employers offer life insurance, 43% accident insurance, 41% vision plans, 40% critical illness or cancer benefits, 23% long-term disability insurance and 23% short-term disability coverage, 24% off a legal services plan, 20% offer long-term care coverage, and 10% ID theft insurance.   55% of employers auto-enroll their employees into defined contribution plans like a 401(k) and 23% auto-escalate such contributions.  For younger workers, time-off tends to be quite important.  69% of firms allow vacation carryover, 16% allow workers to buy more vacation or sell unused days, and 24% allow donation of time-off to a co-worker in need.

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