Fact Sheet

Chicago Benefits Trends

As part of the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, 97respondents were employers based in Chicago, and 227 of respondents were employees working in Chicago; key findings are:

  • Offering robust benefits while staying within budget/cost constraints is a top benefits challenge for 46% of Chicago businesses. Understanding the changing health care landscape is second-largest benefits challenge for 26% of Chicago businesses.
  • Slightly more than three-quarters (76%) of employees in Chicago say they have not heard of the phrase “Consumer Driven Health Care”; and only 6% understand the concept of Consumer Driven Health Care extremely well.
  • 78% of Chicago employees agree health care reform is too complicated to understand.
  • 81% of Chicago employees say they are not very/not at all knowledgeable about State and Federal Exchanges.
  • 34% of employees in Chicago 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 effectively manage it.”
  • Additionally, 52% of employees agree “I believe I may not adequately manage my health insurance coverage, leaving my family less protected than we currently are.”
  • 72% of Chicago businesses use a broker or benefits consultant to help determine benefits options, vs. 61% of companies overall.

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

Chicago 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

59% of Chicago employees say they are likely to accept a job offer with slightly lower compensation, but better benefits.

85% of workers say a benefits package is important to their willingness to refer a friend to their organization.


Only 14% of workers in the Chicago say they are extremely 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 benefits options (45%).

Employee Well-being

38% of workers say their current benefits package only meets their family’s needs somewhat, and 11% say their benefits package does not meet their needs.

When asked if they feel fully protected by their current insurance coverage, 50% of employees in Chicago say they only somewhat agree, and 16% say they strongly/completely disagree.


Nearly half of employees in Chicago (49%) are at least somewhat-to-extremely likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

45% of employees 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:
60% of employers strongly/somewhat agree that “Our workers are taking full advantage of the benefits we offer.” 44% of employees completely/strongly agree with the statement “I am taking full advantage of my employee benefits.”
Employers believe benefits are extremely or very influential on:
  • Job satisfaction – 50%
  • Loyalty to employer – 41%
  • Willingness to refer friends – 29%
  • Work productivity – 30%
  • Decision to leave company – 28%
Employee believe benefits are extremely or very important to:
  • Job satisfaction – 75%
  • Loyalty to employer – 61%
  • Willingness to refer a friend – 52%
  • Work productivity – 58%
  • Decision to leave company – 56%
25% of Chicago employers strongly/somewhat disagree with the statement “our workers are not adequately informed about their benefit choices.” 40% 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.”
61% of employers strongly/somewhat agree they effectively communicate the value of their benefits to employees. 38% of workers say their HR department communicates extremely/very effectively about benefits offered by their employer.
Only 11% of employers named “educating our employees about health care reform” is an important issue for their organization. 68% of workers at least somewhat agree “I believe my employer will educate me about changes to my health care coverage as a result of the health care reform.”
42% of employers named “having employees interested in purchasing voluntary benefits as top challenge in offering voluntary benefits. 59% of workers would be at least somewhat likely to purchase voluntary benefits if offered.

About the Aflac WorkForces Report

The 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report is the 3rd annual Aflac employee benefits study examining benefit trends and attitudes. The study, conducted by Research Now in January 2013, captures responses from 1,884 benefits decision-makers and 5,299 employees across the U.S. To learn more about the Aflac WorkForces Report, visit AflacWorkForcesReport.com