State of Employee Benefits - Voluntary Benefits By Region

Where Are Voluntary Benefits Most Popular?

Here's the gist of what employers are dealing with today:

Health care costs are high. But so is competition for top talent.

Employers – namely, their benefit professionals – are tasked with balancing the need to rein in health care spending with the ability to attract and retain the best employees.

When it comes to reining in health care spending, we've seen a shift in health plan design that has put more cost responsibility on employees.

Last week, we shared that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) have become commonplace in employer health plan offerings across the country. Based on data from Benefitfocus' State of Employee Benefits 2018, we know that a significant number of employees are facing historically high out-of-pocket health care costs.

Here's where the balancing act comes into play. For many employees, these costs represent serious financial risk and uncertainty, and therefore have the potential to create a serious roadblock to talent retention for employers. 

Two-thirds of American adults say they would struggle to come up with $1,000 to cover an emergency.* With most HDHPs exposing employees to well above that number, it's clear that they need help to maintain financial security. And since it's safe to say that a financially secure employee is a happy, productive employee, employers have a major incentive – and really, a responsibility – to provide that help.

Voluntary benefits are a great way to accomplish that balance. Products like accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity insurance can help employees supplement their health care coverage and be in a stronger position financially to navigate an unexpected medical event.

So last week we compared health care plan offerings and participation by employers' regional location, with findings from Benefitfocus' State of Employee Benefits 2018 Regional Edition. Now let's look at the numbers for the three voluntary benefits mentioned above.

As you can see, voluntary benefit offerings and participation are fairly consistent across each region:

 

Learn more in the full State of Employee Benefits 2018 Regional Edition.

 

*Poll: Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research