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Insights and Opportunities Based on Behavioral Data


Benefitfocus | State of Employee Benefits Report

Want to know what's really going on in employer health benefits?


Using actual anonymized enrollment data from consumers on the BENEFITFOCUS® Platform, the State of Employee Benefits research series provides an unprecedented view of what plans employers are offering, what employees are selecting, how much it’s costing and more.

Want the short and sweet version?

Scroll down through the top takeaways from our 2017 research...


With greater choice in health care benefits, employees must determine which plans best fit their circumstances.

Employers continue to diversify health plan offerings.


Fifty-six percent of large employers now offer employees at least one high-deductible health plan (HDHP) alongside traditional health plans (PPO, HMO, etc.).

Annual salary factors into plan selection for non-millennials.

Among employees over age 36, average salaries for HDHP subscribers are up to 17 percent higher than for PPO subscribers.


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Regardless of health plan, employee costs increased significantly.

HDHPs are looking more like PPOs.

Employee-paid premiums for HDHPs rose 7 to 12 percent year-over-year, far outpacing the annual rate of inflation.*

*Using USBLS annual inflation rate for the United States was 1.6% as of 12/2016.

PPOs are looking more like HDHPs.

With deductibles increasing nearly 10 percent from 2016, PPO plans crept even closer to the official IRS definition of an HDHP.


The focus on supplementary coverage is growing for employees and employers.

Employers are increasingly embracing voluntary benefits.

Nearly half of large employers now offer at least one of three major voluntary income protection benefits (accident, critical illness, hospital indemnity).


Millennials are saving more to pay for health care.

Millennials are saving more to pay for health care.

Average contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) have increased by up to 20 percent among millennial workers.

So Now What?

Here are some steps employers can take to help employees “rightsize” their benefits and become savvy health care consumers.

Provide personalization and context.

It’s not enough to offer a comprehensive benefits package. Employees need to identify the best fit plans for their unique circumstances.

Personalized decision support tools can show employees how their benefit choices could impact their lives, so they’re more likely to select the right level of coverage.

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Make financial wellness a priority.

As their out-of-pocket health care costs continue to rise, employees may not be prepared to take on unexpected medical expenses.

Supplementary protection, including health spending accounts and voluntary benefits, as well as financial education programs, can help employees thrive in an increasingly consumer-driven health care system.

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Dig into the data.

With employers needing to reduce health care spending without compromising employee satisfaction, good information is key to offering the right benefits.

Data analytics tools can help employers identify health care cost drivers and understand how employees use their benefits, so they can make informed decisions about plan design and communication efforts.

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