Turning tables: How benefits decisions will impact employers

March 2014

Workers aren’t the only ones who need to weigh their options during open enrollment season.

Employers face several pressures of their own— the need to educate themselves on health care reform, evaluate the potential impact of benefits plan changes or removals, and choose the right benefits plans to protect their workforce, while managing increasing costs.

Over the past decade, companies have been turning to consumer-driven health care plans, and slowly shifting costs onto employees.

This year, 36 percent of companies have stated that they intend to offer fewer or no benefits options as a result of health care reform.1 Yet, the 2013 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey found that 55 percent of U.S. workers are at least somewhat likely to look for another job if their employers stop offering comprehensive benefits.

As employers experiment with new health care options, they should consider how employee productivity and job satisfaction could be impacted. It’s worth remembering that when employees receive the benefits they need, they’re more satisfied, miss fewer workdays, have higher productivity, and are less likely to quit.

Additionally, a company’s benefit package is a powerful tool in determining where it stacks up among competition. Starbucks, for example, said it will not follow the lead of other companies that are cutting health insurance benefits or reducing hours for employees.2 This reputation has consistently put Starbucks on Fortune’s annual list of “Best Companies to Work For.”

How companies formulate their benefits package will have implications greater than just cost. Learn more about key decision points to help make informed decisions during open enrollment.

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1 Huffington Post, 8/29/2013
This material is intended to provide general information about an evolving topic and does not constitute legal, tax or accounting advice regarding any specific situation. Aflac cannot anticipate all the facts that a particular employer or individual will have to consider in their benefits decision-making process. We strongly encourage readers to discuss their HCR situations with their advisors to determine the actions they need to take or to visit healthcare.gov (which may also be contacted at 1-800-318-2596) for additional information.
HCR14023 2/27/2014