Key Insights

Aflac examined the attitudes and opinions of brokers about the state of their industry in the wake of seismic changes to the way health care benefits are purchased, regulated and delivered. These findings are revealed in the Aflac WorkForces Report for Brokers. Aflac also gathered input from employers and workers to identify their perspectives on health care reform, financial issues and the growing importance of voluntary benefits options. The results are detailed in the Aflac WorkForces Report for Businesses, which brokers can use to develop greater insight into the mindsets of leaders and workers at the companies they work with.

Aflac WorkForces Report for Brokers Executive Summary

The confidence of America’s health insurance brokers has been shaken by wide-ranging changes to the nation’s health care system and continuing economic unrest, according to the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report.

For the first time, the report – which annually assesses the attitudes of employers and employees about health care topics and trends – expanded its reach to brokers. And what it revealed was startling: More than half of brokers surveyed aren’t confident about the future of their firms/industry and a surprisingly large number are considering exiting the health insurance business altogether.

In addition to identifying broker self-doubt amid massive overhauls to the U.S. health care system, the Aflac study examined disconnects between broker awareness and action, broker relevance to today’s American businesses, changes to benefits open-enrollment tactics, and the viability of company wellness programs. Taken in sum, the survey results reveal that 2013 is a turning point not only for employers and their workforces, but for brokers too. Read the executive summary.

Turning Tables: How Benefit Decisions Will Impact Employers

The tables have turned this year’s open enrollment season. Historically open enrollment focused on the importance of benefits decisions for workers, however this year it ushers in equally critical benefit decisions for employers. As companies consider changes to their benefit plans, and compliance with health care reform legislation, they should carefully consider the potential negative impact on employee productivity, engagement and job satisfaction metrics of simply shifting expenses to their workers. Read the article.

Static on the Line: Benefits Disconnects Between Insurance Brokers and their Clients

The third annual Aflac WorkForces Report uncovered disconnects between health insurance brokers and clients – and those disconnects provide opportunities for benefits experts to reaffirm their value and increase their influence. The report revealed three major areas ripe for increased broker emphasis and input: the importance of tailored benefits, employer and employee benefits knowledge and awareness, and the timing and content of benefits communications.
Get the full story.

Good News for Brokers: Clients Value Guidance More Than Insurance Advisers Realize

The third annual Aflac WorkForces Report reveals today’s brokers are questioning their value – and even the future of their industry. At the same time, employers and workers say professional advice about health care and benefits is more important than brokers realize. Find out why health insurance brokers may be more relevant today than ever before.
Get the full story.

New Opportunities: The Voluntary Advantage for Brokers

The 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report revealed employer interest in voluntary health insurance is rising, while workers with voluntary plans are more satisfied with their benefits. Employers seek to use benefits to lure top talent and cut costs; workers want to guard against fiscal implosions that can accompany illness and injury. It’s all good news for brokers, who should take this opportunity to open the voluntary conversation with new and existing accounts.
Get the full story.

Aflac WorkForces Report for Businesses Executive Summary

Brokers can use the trends and opinions uncovered by the Aflac WorkForces Report for Businesses to strengthen their relationships with companies they currently do business with, as well as with companies they’d like to do business with in the future. The report uncovered several trends that point to the significance of preparing for benefit changes and the importance of remaining engaged in the delivery of health insurance benefits. Aflac’s third annual employee benefits study discovered that while more business leaders are embracing cost-friendly, consumer-driven models, consumers are largely unequipped to take the reins; that there are long-term implications for businesses taking short-term approaches of shifting control and responsibility for health insurance decisions to workers; and that an organization’s degree of health care benefits engagement and knowledge factors heavily into its HR metrics: attraction, satisfaction, productivity and retention of talent. Read the executive summary.

Workers Remain Financially Unprepared

The aftershocks of the recession continue to be felt. Workers have experienced cut backs on employer-paid health care costs, raises, bonuses and more. Measures such as cost shifting, pay freezes and furloughs have had great impacts on employees. These unavoidable consequences of the economic downturn have not only affected employee morale and loyalty, but have also created a mentally stressed-out and financially vulnerable workforce. Read the article.

The Uphill Road to Consumer-Driven Health Care

A consumer-driven health care model gives consumers the primary decision-making role regarding the health care they receive. Employers have arguably embraced the idea of consumer-driven health care more quickly than consumers. In fact, controlling health/medical insurance costs was named the most important HR objective for companies in 2013. As a result, many companies have already introduced high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). However, the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report found that 72 percent of workers have not heard of the phrase “consumer-driven health care.” Of those who had, 38 percent said that although they have heard of the phrase, they don’t understand it very well or at all. Read the article.

The Competitive Edge

Insights from the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report reveal an emerging group of companies that are excelling by leveraging key HR and benefits outcomes. Benefits decision-makers at these companies have a clear understanding of health care reform and are making employee benefits and communication a priority. Study provides insights into vital opportunities for businesses to leverage HR and benefits best practices to gain a competitive edge. Read the article.

Benefits Matter

Results from the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report reveal how a company’s benefits offerings directly influence key business outcomes. As the job market improves, companies are looking for more ways to combat turnover. Many of these solutions, may be closer than they think. Making benefits offerings part of the retention effort is often forgotten, but an essential factor contributing to job satisfaction, and creating the perception than an employer truly cares about the wellbeing of its workforce. Read the article.

The Hidden Rewards of Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary insurance policies, such as critical illness, short-term disability, accident, life insurance and many more, help complement major medical policies. Many businesses offer these voluntary benefits to meet workforce needs, and increasingly as a solution to growing health care costs. Insights from the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report reveal the many hidden rewards for businesses offering voluntary benefits, and the even greater advantages for workers who are enrolled. Read the article.

Is Your Organization a Talent Attractor or a Benefits Skeptic?

As your business strives to meet the challenges of today’s environment, how do your benefits options compare to those of your competitors? Does your benefits package demonstrate that you care about the welfare and satisfaction of your workforce? Learn more about the Aflac Benefits Assessment and common employer profiles to help your business recruit and retain a talented workforce. Read the article.

Are You an Active Protector or a Benefits Gambler?

The new online Wellbeing Assessment Tool from Aflac uses extensive data and an exhaustive analysis of benefits for employees across a wide range of industries and employer size.The result is one of five profiles that offer users realistic advise and actions to consider. Read the article.

Designing Benefit Programs for Different Generations

When designing benefits programs for the generations, it is imperative to take a holisticlook at each age cohort, including varying education levels, experiences, life factors and even personality characteristics. Each of these aspects plays a role in what options are best suited to a generation, and more importantly, that appeal to those workers enough to drive participation and enrollment. Read the Article.

Maximize Open Enrollment to Avoid Costly Financial and Health Outcomes

Over half (56 percent) of U.S. workers estimate they waste up to $750 a year because of mistakes they make with their insurance benefits. This article highlights common pitfalls and HR best practices, to prepare and educate your workforce during open enrollment and throughout the year. Read the Article.

HR Strategies that Drive C-Suite Results

HR leaders are strategically poised to influence, support and engage a company's workforce to impact business results. Recent HR and benefits trends from the 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report reveal strategies to help HR leaders build strong objectives and tactics to have a positive impact on their companies' bottom lines. Read the article.

Top Nine Benefits Enrollment Tips for Small Businesses

To help make this year’s open enrollment a success, our experts have compiled a list of the top nine benefits enrollment tips for you and your employees. Read the article.

Why Do Workers Leave?

For employers, curbing turnover costs has been a daunting task for decades, and now the ongoing war for talent is accelerating. The second annual Aflac WorkForces Report provides important insight into the workers who decide to quit and reasons behind why they do. Read the article.