Insurance Protection

Employee Benefit Trends to Watch

Fall is upon us which means we’re approaching another season of open enrollment. Year after year, renewal after renewal, employers (and their employees) are faced with the challenge of providing a comprehensive benefits package that is also competitively priced. This leaves many to feel as if this is a mutually exclusive proposition. But the challenge remains the same. How do we attract and retain the top talent in our industry? There are no silver bullets and the healthcare system shows no signs of providing relief. However, there are some strategies and emerging trends that employers may want to consider to accommodate the changing workforce demographics that goes beyond just a standard healthcare benefits package for employees. Some of these emerging trends include:

1. Customization
The workforce demographics are changing. Employers need to account for their employees diverse needs. A Private Exchange will allow a more personalized approach across the employee spectrum. A Private Exchange utilizes a Defined Contribution strategy where the Employer provides a set amount of money to each employee. The employees have access to a portfolio of products, from health insurance and critical illness to pet insurance. The employees can choose what best fits their needs and budget at that point in their life.

2. Voluntary Benefits
This is a great way to round out your benefits package and offer your employees unique benefits. One emerging benefit in this offering is Student Loan Assistance Programs. On average, graduating students are faced with $37,000 in student loan debt.

3. Telemedicine/Digital Health
These tools allow employees to access healthcare anytime, anywhere at a fraction of the normal cost. Employees can use their mobile devices to talk, text or video chat with a doctor to get test results and immediate answers.

4. Financial Wellness Programs
Financial health is a major component of employee wellness and has a tangible impact on business. Employees who are stressed about money are prone to absence and are less productive while at work. Companies delivering financial wellness programs are working to educate employees about overcoming personal finance challenges. This includes debt reduction, asset management, and saving for current and future needs (ie. purchasing a home, saving for college, saving for retirement). A recent report from PricewaterhouseCooper’s 2016 Employee Financial Wellness survey validates the need for employers to pay attention to financial wellness in addition to traditional healthcare. Here’s some statistics from the study:

– 52% of workers overall are stressed about their finances.
– 64% of Millennials say they are stressed about their finances. The younger the worker, the more likely he or she is to be worried.
– 46% of workers spend three or more hours during the work week dealing with financial issues.
– 45% said their stress has increased over the past 12 months.

Innovative employers are transforming their employee benefits program into a business asset and moving beyond just traditional healthcare. Forget one-size-fits-all plans. The future of benefits must involve customizing benefits to keep every generation engaged. Then, employers need to actively promote its benefits as an asset to attract and retain top talent.

If you’re interested in speaking with an experienced employee benefits consultant about how Univest Insurance can help your company provide a competitive and comprehensive benefits package, please contact us at 800-220-3077 or

Insurance products offered through Univest Insurance, Inc. are obligations of the issuing insurance companies, not obligations or deposits of or guaranteed by any bank and are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States.

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