This month, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offered some interesting insight into the trends affecting employee benefits, as part of its State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace Survey. Data was gathered at the end of 2012 from hundreds of HR practitioners to explore the impact that health care costs and the Affordable Care Act are being managed, and how organizations intend to control these costs.
While this is just part one of three in a series of reports on SHRM’s findings, the information reveals that companies are placing a large emphasis on finding ways to cut back on costs for employee benefits.
Here are some of the more interesting figures from the downloadable report:
- 84 percent of polled organizations were very concerned about controlling health care costs.
- 52 percent of the surveys organizations reported taking steps to increase the employee contribution of total health care costs.
- 52 percent are providing educational programs related to employee health and wellness.
- 22 percent of organizations plan to increase the employee share contributed to health care plans going into 2013.
Still, the report indicated that many companies are unsure of how they will manage their health care premium increases for 2013 and beyond. Of those polled, almost 35 percent were not sure if they believe employees will eventually be paying the majority of health care costs as Obamacare rolls out. This may be because certain employees in lower income ranges may be eligible for the government funded insurance programs, so they are just waiting for the time being.
Other businesses are taking steps to secure benefit technology, which will enable them to better manage the costs of administration associated with employee benefits. We’re still in the early stages of knowing what’s to come in terms of the affect Health Care Reform will have on the average business, but it’s obvious that company HR personnel are concerned about how this will all pan out.
Updates will be published once the second in the three-part installment are released later this year by SHRM. Be sure to subscribe to The HR Writer to get these updates. We welcome your comments and questions.