Responsibilities Shifting for Employee Benefits

Controlling employer costs for healthcare benefits is a top priority among finance executives, according to a new study.

Prudential Financial and CFO Research Servicesfound that 70 percent of company executives are concerned about controlling employer costs for company provided healthcare benefits with 65 percent saying they are likely to shift a larger portion of costs for healthcare coverage to employees.

“The solution seems to be to shift the responsibility from the employer to the employee and in the process giving employees more authority, choice and a wider range of coverage options at a lower price,” said Sam Knox, director of research for CFO Research.”

Employee choice programs include voluntary and flexible benefits. In an employee-choice model, each employee is provided with a fixed amount of funding for benefits and employees select their benefits using those funds as well as their own funds.

Today, only 15 percent of respondents describe their current program as an employee-choice strategy.

Comment: In the past, the only firms that could possible implement an employee-choice strategy were very large employers with many thousands of employees.  With the regulation change in 2007 that allowed the pre-tax deduction of individual health policies, any size firm can now take advantage of this budget saving strategy. 



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