Most Employers Say Workers Need Guidance on Benefit Decisions

By Staff Report

Aug. 5, 2011

Virtually all employers—96 percent—say their employees need guidance to make sound benefits decisions and education to help workers understand changes in their benefits programs, yet less than one-quarter—23 percent—say their company’s benefits education efforts are very effective, according to a survey taken at the recent Society for Human Resource Management conference.

The survey, conducted by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co., also found that just over half—51 percent—of employers plan to increase employees’ share of health insurance premiums, while nearly half—49 percent—are increasing deductibles and copayments in response to the rising cost of health care.

“Not surprisingly, employee benefits have taken a hit as companies wrestle with the rising cost of providing health coverage to their workforce,” said Randy Horn, president and CEO of Columbia, South Carolina-based Colonial Life, in a written statement.

Among other survey findings:
• 25 percent of employers are adding consumer-driven health plans.
• 21 percent are adding voluntary benefits options.
• 13.4 percent are eliminating some other benefit.

The survey included responses from more than 750 human resources managers and benefit managers attending the annual SHRM conference in Las Vegas in June.  

Filed by Joanne Wojcik of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email


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