Everything in life changes and employee benefits are no different. While many employers use benefits as a way to attract and retain talent, there has been an overall decline in the number of employers offering benefits, as well as some changes in what is being offered.
LIMRA’s research shows only 81 percent of employers currently offer benefits to their employees, down from 88 percent in 2003. Of the employers who are offering benefits, LIMRA research shows on average employers are offering slightly fewer insurance benefits than in 2014.
When looking at the types of insurance offered, LIMRA research shows fewer employers are offering some lines of coverage. For example, the percent of employers offering medical coverage dropped 8 percentage points between 2006 and 2017 (87 percent to 79 percent). The percent of employers offering dental insurance declined to 58 percent in 2017, down four percentage points from 2009. Cancer insurance also saw a decline – just 21 percent of employers offer it in 2017, down from 32 percent in 2009.
It isn’t all bad news. Some benefits have seen increases over the past decade. In 2017, LIMRA finds more employers are offering vision and critical illness coverage. Vision insurance has seen the biggest increase, with 55 percent of employers offering the coverage in 2017, compared to 49 percent in 2014.
LIMRA studies show that employers are also interested in adding some newer types of benefits to their offerings. LIMRA finds 9 in 10 employers who offer insurance benefits also offer at least one non-traditional benefit, such as learning and development, paid family leave, tuition assistance, flexible work arrangements, and wellness programs. Some of these types of benefits can offer value to employees at a lower cost to employers.
In the latest episode of LIMRA Unplugged, LIMRA Research Director Alison Salka talks with Kim Landry, LIMRA assistant research director for workplace benefits, about the changing trends in benefits and some common employee misperceptions. For more insights into what companies and advisors can do to help combat these issues please watch: The Inside Scoop on Workplace Benefits.