The State of Employee Benefits

Presented By Benefitfocus

Insights and Opportunities Based on Behavioral Data

What benefits do your employees really want — and need? Are you delivering?

State of Employee Benefits Report

Here’s help.

The State of Employee Benefits research series is designed to give you better information, so you can make better benefits decisions, which can lead to better lives for your employees and their families. Let our data be your guide.

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Here are just a few of the insights from our 2016 research...

Rise of the HDHP

As companies attempt to control costs, the high-deductible health plan (HDHP)
is a powerful way to encourage thriftier health care utilization.

HDHPs are now in the majority of plan offerings.

While traditional health plans remain the dominant plan offerings, more than half of large employers included an HDHP in their benefits mix for 2016.


of large employers
 on the Benefitfocus Platform offered at least one HDHP.


Traditional Only

HDHP & Traditional

Employees see the value of HDHPs.

Despite the fact that HDHPs require workers to adopt a new way of thinking about health care consumption, many employees will select these plans when given the option.


of employees enrolling through the Benefitfocus Platform selected an HDHP over a traditional plan when given the choice.

No Election

The Push to Consumerism

Regardless of plan type, all employees are taking on significant financial responsibility for their own health care.

Even traditional plans have relatively high deductibles.

While HDHPs certainly live up to their name, today’s PPO deductibles are nothing to sneeze at.

PPO deductibles are not far below the
 IRS minimums for HDHP deductibles.









IRS minimum

Health care costs represent a
 major portion of employee expenses

The average individual could spend anywhere from 34% to 64% more
 on health care than on food in 2016.*

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HDHP Out-of-Pocket Max



Average Food Expenditure

*using USBLS food expenditure data

The Financial Wellness Opportunity

Health savings accounts (HSAs) and voluntary benefits can help employees manage their financial risk, but there’s work to do in this area.

HSAs are underutilized.

Employees are leaving thousands of tax-free dollars on the table, missing a major opportunity to save for their future health care needs. 42% of the maximum amount allowed to HSAs was contributed by HDHP participants


of the maximum amount allowed to HSAs was contributed by HDHP participants

Voluntary benefits have a long runway.

Products like accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity insurance
 can provide a strong financial safety net for employees, but only 36% of employers offered at least one gap
 voluntary benefit through online enrollment.

Meaning 64% offered ZERO.

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So Now What?

Here are steps you 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 your 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.

With rising out-of-pocket health care costs, your employees may not be prepared to take on unexpected medical expenses. Supplementary protection, including health spending accounts and voluntary benefits, and financial education programs can help employees thrive in the era of health care consumerism.

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Dig into your data.

Determine the right mix of plans to offer based on your unique employee population. Data analytics tools can help you identify health care cost drivers and how employees use their benefits, so you can make informed decisions about plan design.

Learn More

Get the Reports


Download the Infographic