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Insights and Perspectives on the New Normal in Employee Benefits

Blog - Insights and Perspectives on the New Normal in Employee Benefits

Benefitfocus is pleased to present the fifth annual State of Employee Benefits™ report, featuring insights based on decisions made on our platform for the 2022 plan year.

Unlike self-reported surveys, the State of Employee Benefits uses actual enrollment data to provide a one-of-a-kind look at behavior-based trends in:

  • Employer Benefit Offerings
  • Health Plan Premiums and Out-of-Pocket Costs
  • Employee Elections

2022 Key Insights

This is the second year looking at employee benefit trends amid an ongoing pandemic, and the “new normal” is already different from what it was at the start of 2021. COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available, leading many employers to implement specific return-to-work policies based on vaccination status. The emergence of new variants has collided with widespread deferred care to introduce new factors in health care costs. Meanwhile, employees quitting their jobs at historic rates began the era of “The Great Resignation.” The resulting talent shortage, along with the expansion of remote work, has employers reimagining recruitment and retention strategies. 

This report aims to illustrate how these challenges are shaping employer benefit plan design and employee decisions by analyzing enrollments from 361 large employers (1,000+ employees) and more than 4.7 million employees across the last five years. Additional insights from employer and employee surveys that were conducted in partnership with the Feedback Loop platform also provide perspective into the context in which these decisions were made. 

Here are the top three insights from this year's report:

Employers continue to diversify health benefit packages. 

77% of employer now offer an average of five health plan options between HDHP and PPOs, and nearly two-thirds offer both an HSA and FSA. 

Employers limit cost-shifting of health care cost increases for employees.

Employers pick up the 5% premium increase of individual PPOs, and out-of-pocket costs increases were 2% or less on average. 

Employees are prioritizing financial security via voluntary benefits.

1 in 4 employees elected hospital indemnity coverage while more than a third enrolled in voluntary accident and critical illness plans. 


For full details on employee benefits trends, download the Benefitfocus 2022 State of Employee Benefits report



Benefitfocus is not an actuarial firm, and Benefitfocus is not acting as an actuary or determining any actuarial basis for employer benefit offerings. Benefitfocus does not underwrite insurance and does not give legal advice regarding the  adequacy of coverage limits or types. This report is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney, tax, actuarial or other professional advisors.