Study: 60% of employers struggling to manage benefits
- The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America released a study showing that 60% of employees polled are overwhelmed by the increasingly complex task of managing benefits, reports Yahoo! Finance. The study, Benefits Balancing Act, examines the employers’ challenges in managing benefits, administrating benefits efficiently and complying with laws.
- The top priorities for employers polled were curbing costs and keeping benefits affordable. However, less than one-third thought high-deductible plans and cost-sharing reduced costs, as originally anticipated.
- The study also found that 69% of employers struggled with offering new coverage plans, switching carriers, communicating benefits and rolling out open enrollment periods. Compliance was employers’ biggest benefit concern, with 70% saying that keeping up with changing laws was difficult.
Curbing benefits costs is a perennial concern for employers and workers. A significant number of employers are so overwhelmed with managing benefits that they’re outsourcing some functions, a sensible strategy for large organizations that can afford it. The forthcoming repeal of the ACA may be exacerbating some compliance concerns as well, as the future of the healthcare law remains in a bit of a limbo.
The study showed that employers also are turning to technology for help with managing benefits and assisting employees in choosing during open enrollment. Other technologies, such as wearables and telemedicine, have also emerged, easing cost and improving wellness programs.