LIMRA estimates 86 million employees could have access to new insurance benefits within 2 years
Facing a historically tight job market, many employers are looking to bolster their workplace benefits to attract new talent and retain their existing workforce. In a LIMRA survey of U.S. private employers with 10 or more employees, 60% said they are considering adding a new insurance benefit within the next two years ― roughly double the interest employers expressed five years ago.
More than 1 in 4 businesses express strong interest in introducing at least one new type of insurance option to their workforces. Four in 10 mid-sized and large companies are very interested in offering new insurance benefits within the next two years.
If all of these organizations follow through, approximately 784,000 employers will introduce a new insurance benefit over the next two years, reaching more than 86 million employees.
Today, more than 80% of private employers with 10 or more workers offer at least one insurance benefit, with major medical plans most commonly available to employees. Dental (55%), life insurance (48%), vision care (47%) and short-term disability (47%) round out the top five benefits offered by employers currently.
When it comes to new benefits employers are considering, disability (both short- and long-term) and vision care benefits were mentioned most often. Businesses that do not currently offer insurance benefits are most often considering adding major medical coverage. Employers with no existing insurance benefits are also looking to add dental insurance, life insurance, short-term disability and vision care coverage.
This aligns with what workers value, according to recent LIMRA research. In the 2022 BEAT Study: Benefits and Employee Attitude Tracker, more than half of workers cite medical benefits as one of the top five factors they look for in an employer, and more than a quarter prioritize other insurance benefits, such as life, disability, or dental insurance.
Beyond insurance benefits, employees are interested in adding non-traditional benefits, such as work flexibility, caregiving benefits and wellness programs. Given the current competition for talent coupled with the increased emphasis on job flexibility among workers, the study finds more than half of employers (53%) are interested in introducing at least one new non-insurance option to address a wider array of their workers’ needs.
While salary and bonuses remain a primary way to attract and retain workers, LIMRA’s study shows many employers are placing heightened emphasis on other components of total compensation. Providing enhanced benefit options and greater job flexibility appeals to job seekers while also helping to retain key employees.