Trying to predict the future is a notoriously risky endeavor. However, wise companies and organizations can pretty safely make business decisions based on observable trends that have been established over time.
This is particularly advisable in the world of employee benefits (and insurance in general), where future costs can often seem out of our control.
With this in mind, here are five employee benefit trends that have developed over the past several years. These are very relevant in 2019 and will continue to be for the foreseeable future:
1. Benefits trump salary
A robust benefits package has generally become more appealing than a relatively higher salary to many potential employees. Employers should therefore continue to make sure their offered benefits are up-to-date and comprehensive.
For example, consider including things like student loan help, tuition reimbursement, and so on.
2. Voluntary benefits grow in importance
Following directly from the first trend, one way to make your benefits package more appealing is to offer meaningful voluntary benefit choices. This way, employees can decide what benefits are most valuable to them and personalize their own package.
Benefits that are hand-selected by an employee him or
herself will inevitably be a bigger draw when it comes to attracting and
retaining top talent.
3. Benefit communications, personalized
Employers also need to customize benefit communications for employees. This personalization should not only encompass different benefit needs and interests, but also preferred communication methods – text, email, etc.
Once again, the focus is on the employee, not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach that many employers have defaulted to in the past.
4. Shifting rising health care costs
Here’s perhaps the most significant and expected trend on this list: Due to rising employee benefit plan costs in general, employers will continue to shift them.
Currently the most common methods are telemedicine and virtual care, and consumer driven health plans (CDHPs). SBU is familiar with these approaches, but we can also offer ways to not only shift costs, but actually reduce them over time.
5. Regulations still matter
It should be considered a given at this point that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other regulations are still issues for every employer. Understanding and navigating these can obviously be challenging, and helping businesses and organizations do so is something SBU excels at.
Making the Complex Simple
The economy and the job market are both currently up in 2019, making the question of what employee benefits to offer more important than ever. Make sure your offerings set you apart and help you attract and retain the best people, now and going forward.