Enter me: Employer-based health coverage is the backbone of the U.S. health care system, and workers report that health-related benefits are once again the top benefits employers have to offer, according to a recent survey by the Association for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The survey found that 88% of employers rated health-related benefits as “very important” or “extremely important”, prioritizing retirement savings, leave, family care, education and transportation benefits.
Yeah so: Employers and their staff continue to place a high value on employer-sponsored coverage and are favor recently increased range of telehealth and mental health benefits.
The pandemic has reshaped specific benefits for employers, with SHRM reporting that 93% of organizations surveyed now offer telemedicine or telehealth services as part of their healthcare coverage – an increase of 20 percentage points compared to 2019. Similarly, 91% of employers now offer mental health insurance , a new record from years before. The findings underline how the employer system continues to innovate to meet the needs of employees and their families.
The value for business: While the SHRM survey highlights trends in employer benefit offerings and what US workers value most, there is also data showing value to business. A recent research by Avalere Health revealed a significant return on investment for companies offering employer-sponsored insurance (ESI).
Furthermore, the study found that employers with an average of 100 or more employees see remarkable health benefits a positive ROI of 47%. Avalere attributes this ROI to factors such as higher employee productivity, lower direct medical costs, and lower recruitment and retention expenses. And this number is expected to rise to 52% by 2026.
What it comes down to: ESI is consistently ranked as the most valuable and desired benefit for both employers and employees, and recent surveys make it clear that this trend is not changing.
Even in the most challenging times, health-related benefits provide the American workforce with financial security and peace of mind. As Americans adjust to the “new normal” of a post-pandemic world, it is clear that employers and employees will continue to prioritize these innovative health benefits for years to come.
About the Authors
Vice President, Health Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Katie W. Mahoney is vice president of health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is responsible for developing, advocating and publishing the House’s health policies and works with members of Congress, the administration and regulatory agencies to promote the organization’s health policies. She also prepares regulatory responses for the Chamber and its member companies and addresses material areas as part of a comprehensive health policy.