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Benefits Breakdown Newsletter – December 2022

Trendiest benefits for 2023

Employers should consider offering their employees more than just a healthcare plan for 2023. Employers can offer holistic benefits, resources and perks to meet evolving worker needs shaped by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a tight labor market and rising inflation.

Employers are offering the following popular benefits:

  • Hospital indemnity insurance — Healthcare affordability is top of mind for employers and employees alike. Hospital indemnity insurance can provide value to employees without raising an employer’s costs, making it a powerful tool for attracting and retaining top workers.
  • Health savings account contribution — Many employees are feeling financially strained due to record-high inflation. Financial wellness benefits, such as health savings account contributions, can ease employees’ financial stress and make an organization more attractive to today’s workers.
  • Family-friendly benefits — Many employers offer parental leave, adoption and surrogacy benefits, which support the unique and complex ways individuals and couples build their families.
  • Healthcare full premium coverage — This type of benefit helps employees with rising healthcare costs and is common in many small organizations.

Organizations can start optimizing benefits packages by evaluating employee preferences and thinking about ways to improve offerings or tailor them for their workforce. To ensure offerings and investments will resonate with employees, organizations should consider surveying them first. It's important to keep a pulse on employees and see what they find most valuable and necessary for their overall well-being.

Medical trend can help shape benefits strategies

“Medical trend” is the projected percentage increase in the cost to treat patients from one year to the next, assuming benefits remain the same. Insurance companies use these projections to calculate health plan premiums for the upcoming year.

The leading cause for a medical trend increase is rising prices at points of care. Other factors impacting medical trend include healthcare utilization, the impact of fixed deductibles and copays, healthcare cost shifts from uninsured individuals to insurance companies, government-mandated benefits, technological advancements, high-cost medical treatments and prescription drugs.

As healthcare costs outpace their wages, coverage is becoming less affordable for many workers in the United States. Understanding medical trend can help employers better design benefits plans that meet the needs of their organization and employees.

Increased medical trend often equates to higher medical costs for employers. As a result, many employers are searching for cost-effective solutions to manage growing healthcare costs and keep benefits affordable for employees. These solutions may include directing employees to cost-effective care, improving employee health literacy, incorporating healthcare technology and adjusting plan design. Savvy employers can use their understanding of medical trend to monitor healthcare costs and implement strategies to ensure their benefits plans are sustainable and beneficial to employees.

The information in this newsletter is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as professional advice. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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