3 ways to make tax time part of your benefits strategy

March 2014

This tax season, many employees will see a number on their W-2: the dollar amount their company contributed toward their health benefits. The addition of this information to tax statements presents a unique opportunity for employers to highlight the investment they’re making in their workers.

We’ve compiled three simple tips to boost your benefits communication efforts:

Tip 1: Communicate the real value of employer contribution

No matter how well informed you think your employees are about their benefits, it’s likely that many are still in the dark. In fact, 59 percent of workers say they truly don’t understand their employer’s contributions toward their insurance benefits.1 The W-2 requirement allows employers to discuss the employee/employer split of benefits costs.

Tip 2: Empower workers to take part in the cost-cutting solutions

It can be hard to discuss finances with your workers, especially as benefits programs have shifted more costs directly to employees through increased copays and deductibles.

One way to get employees on board is to have them participate in the annual employee benefits design review. Many workers feel that their company could cover more of the costs, so it’s important for employers to offer solutions and insight.

Tip 3: Equip employees with cost-effective ways to fill coverage gaps

Offer realistic solutions and resources that encourage employees to build a safety net. Many employees admit they don’t understand the changes that will take place in the coming years. However, there are a wide variety of choices, including adjusting your current benefits, switching to fixed-contribution, self-funded benefits or hybrid plans. As out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, supplemental policies will become a good option for your workers.

To learn more about the employer W-2 requirement, visit: Aflac.com/hcrqa.

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1 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, a study conducted by Research Now on behalf of Aflac, accessed Jan. 24, 2014
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