COLUMBUS, Ga., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy percent of small business
decision-makers indicated they are concerned about their company's ability to
provide affordable health insurance coverage for employees, according to a
recent survey commissioned by Aflac. Two primary concerns included:
- Attracting and retaining employees, with nearly two-thirds (63 percent)
of respondents reporting that they are concerned about their company's
ability to provide a benefits package that will attract and retain
- Nearly half (49 percent) agree that they cannot attract and retain top
quality employees without offering competitive health benefits.
The Aflac-commissioned survey of 501 small business decision-makers
indicates that respondents see a direct correlation between profitability and
current health benefit offerings, with more than a third (36 percent)
reporting that their current health benefit offering has negatively affected
business. The top three effects were cited as: decline in profitability (24
percent), inability to attract new employees (11 percent), and loss of good
employees (seven percent).
"Quality health insurance benefits are often key to recruiting and
retaining good employees," said Paul S. Amos, II, executive vice president and
chief operating officer. "Because small businesses are more susceptible to
premium increases, it is critical that small business owners and management
are well-informed of the numerous health benefit options available."
Six in ten (58 percent) of survey respondents agree that "it is important
to financially help employees with health challenges and medical emergencies."
Among small businesses that offer some type of benefits to their employees (58
percent), an average of 52 percent of the employee base receives health care
coverage, with these employees paying an average of 31 percent of health
insurance premiums. While 21 percent of these employees pay zero percent of
health insurance premiums, 63 percent pay half or more.
"Aflac recognizes and respects the contribution small businesses make to
the growth of our economy. We also understand that the rising costs of health
benefits are having a significant impact on the bottom lines of small
businesses and on their employees' total compensation. That is why we offer
employees benefits -- it allows businesses of all sizes to make insurance
policies available to their employees with no direct cost to the business,"
Additional key findings from the survey include the following:
- Nearly half (46 percent) of small business decision-makers report that
increasing health care costs have negatively impacted their employees'
- Approximately four in ten (38 percent) have taken some action around
their benefits last year and one-third (34 percent) anticipate taking
some action in the coming year.
- Four in ten (42 percent) of those surveyed agreed that annual increases
in health benefits have made them decrease their offerings.
- Fewer than one in ten (seven percent) of small businesses currently
offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to their employees.
- Of those small business decision-makers considering implementing HSAs,
73 percent indicated that giving their employees more options was the
For more information about the survey or Aflac policy offerings for small
businesses, visit aflacsb.com.
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the
opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting
medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of
guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one
insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan.
Aflac's insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people
worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's
Most Admired Companies for six consecutive years and Forbes magazine's
Platinum 400 List of America's Best Big Companies for five consecutive years.
In January 2006, Aflac was included in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best
Companies to Work For in America for the eighth consecutive year. Aflac was
also included in Fortune magazine's list of the Top 50 Employers for
Minorities in August 2005, and in September 2005, Aflac Japan was named the
Life Insurance Company of the Year at the Asia Insurance Industry Awards,
sponsored by the Asia Insurance Review. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500
company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find
out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.
About the Survey
On behalf of Aflac, StrategyOne, an applied research consulting firm,
conducted a national online survey among 501 small business owners/managers to
better understand their perceptions of and experiences with health benefits.
The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 at the 95 percent
confidence level, was conducted using the field services of Harris
Analysts and Investors:
Kenneth S. Janke
1-800-235-2667, option 3
SOURCE Aflac Incorporated
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Investors, Kenneth S. Janke, +1-800-235-2667, option 3, or email@example.com,
both of Aflac Incorporated/
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CO: Aflac Incorporated
IN: INS HEA WRK
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