Fact Sheet: Health Care Employees
Healthcare Company Benefit Trends

As part of the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, 151 healthcare employers and 512 healthcare employees were surveyed; key findings are:

  • Offering robust benefits while staying within budget/cost constraints is a top benefits challenge for 42% of healthcare businesses. Understanding the changing health care landscape is second-largest benefits challenge for 15% of healthcare businesses.
  • 51% think it is extremely/very important to tailor benefits offerings to employees at different levels or life stages, yet only 40% of healthcare businesses do so.
  • 48% of healthcare company employees at least somewhat agree that, “I would prefer not to be more in control over my health care expenses and options because I will not have the time or knowledge to do so effectively.”
  • Another 50% agree “I believe I may not adequately manage my health insurance coverage, leaving my family less protected than we currently are.”
  • 64% of healthcare businesses use a broker or benefits consultant to help determine benefits options.

Thinking of my company’s major medical/health care plans, we plan to implement the following in the coming year…

Healthcare Company Benefits Offerings At-A-Glance

Which of the following benefits does your company offer?

The Role of Benefits in Key HR Outcomes

Talent Attraction

57% of healthcare employees say they are likely to accept a job offer with slightly lower compensation, but better benefits.

88% of workers say a benefits package is important to their willingness to refer a friend to their organization.

Satisfaction

Only 55% of workers at healthcare companies say they are extremely/very satisfied with their overall benefits package.

When employees are offered voluntary insurance they are much more likely to say their current benefits package meets their needs extremely/very well (60%), compared to those not offered voluntary insurance options (45%).

Employee Well-Being

30% of workers say their current benefits package only meets their family’s needs somewhat, and 10% say their benefits package does not meet their needs.

When asked if they feel fully protected by their current insurance coverage, 45% of employees at healthcare employers say they only somewhat agree, and 21% say they strongly/completely disagree.

Retention

27% of employees at healthcare employers are very/extremely likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

Nearly half of employees (44%) say that improving their benefits package is one thing their employer could do to keep them in their job.

82% of employees agree that a well-communicated benefits program would make them less likely to leave their jobs.

Disconnects on Key Benefit Issues
Employers respond that: Employees say:
  • 59% of employers strongly/somewhat agree that “Our workers are taking full advantage of the benefits we offer.”
  • 70% of employees completely/strongly agree with the statement “I am taking full advantage of my employee benefits.”
  • Believes benefits are extremely or very influential on:
    Job satisfaction – 51%
    Loyalty to employer – 50%
    Willingness to refer friends – 36%
    Work productivity – 29%
    Decision to leave company – 33%
  • Believes benefits extremely or very important to:
    Job satisfaction – 81%
    Loyalty to employer – 70%
    Willingness to refer a friend – 59%
    Work productivity – 65%
    Decision to leave company – 56%
  • 29% of companies strongly/somewhat agree with the statement “our workers are not adequately informed about their benefit choices”
  • 79% of workers at least somewhat agree with the statement “I would be more informed about my benefit choices if I sat with an insurance consultant.”
  • 83% of companies strongly/somewhat agree they “effectively communicate the value of their benefits to employees.”
  • 46% of workers say their HR department communicates extremely/very effectively about benefits offered by their employer.
  • Only 6% of companies named “educating our employees about health care reform” is an important issue for their organization.
  • 76% of workers agree “I believe my employer will educate me about changes to my health care coverage as a result of the health care reform.”
  • 28% of companies named “having employees interested in purchasing voluntary benefits” as top challenge in offering voluntary benefits."
  • 63% would be likely to purchase voluntary benefits if offered.
Conclusions:

While many businesses faced employment declines during the last recession, the U.S. health care industry was a beacon of hope for the struggling economy. Though the growth was not as significant as in past years, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics the health care industry stood out as one of the few that continued to add jobs. Still, the industry faces concerns associated with skyrocketing health care costs alongside other sectors.

When it comes to benefits offerings, health care employers are calling for greater employee engagement, but they may not be using the most effective strategies. Many health care employees want to receive information about benefits from their HR departments, yet 4-in- 10 (43%) say their HR departments communicate too little about employee benefits. A clearly communicated benefits program can have a significant effect on employee retention and the bottom line, especially when nearly half of employees (44%) say that a well-communicated benefits program would make them less likely to leave their job.

With the majority of employees (90%) at least somewhat agreeing that they would be more likely to take advantage of a benefits package tailored to their personal situation, health care employers may also benefit from gaining critical feedback from employees regarding their benefits solutions. While health care organizations tend to be more in tune than other industries with regards to using employee surveys, still only 19 percent of health care employers say they are asking employees about their preferences or needs when it comes to benefits offerings.

Recommendations:

Consider benefits options:
There is strong evidence that a companies’ benefit program significantly influences employee attraction, engagement and retention. Many small companies are looking to self-funded benefits options, as well as supplemental insurance as low-cost solutions.

Consider comprehensive wellness programs:
Wellness programs are a useful tool to help curb escalating expenses. Particularly considering that at least one-quarter of the health care costs incurred by working adults are attributed to modifiable health risks such as tobacco use, diet, and lack of exercise.

Don’t underestimate the power of well-communicated benefits offerings:
Taking advantage of the benefits your business offers with effective communication may influence workforce retention.