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Our View of the Market
ADJUSTING TO THE NEW NORMAL
Since 2008, it has been challenging to pick relatively safe, sensible investments that provide growth for 401(k)s and 403(b)s. The crash of 2008 was a game changer…causing nearly a decade now of slow growth, periodic stock market volatility, low interest rates, the metamorphosis from defined benefit to defined-contribution plans, etc., etc. What steps are you taking to meet these challenges for your current employees, your retirees and yourself? We can help walk you through the process to a successful outcome.
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA)
ACA was also a major game changer that caused employers to re-think their role in employee healthcare, and nudge employees to the ACA exchanges, consumer-driven healthcare and wellness programs. Still considering options. We can help you find the answers.
THE RISING TIDE OF HEALTHCARE COSTS
Despite ACA, concepts like the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and payer attempts to reign in healthcare costs, as a nation, we still pay more for healthcare and get less than people in most industrialized countries.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Rx drugs account for only 10 percent of U.S. health spending but 19 percent of employer insurance benefits.
We’ve always advised our clients of the need to audit employee health plan expense, but now, PBM audits are more important than ever.
THE MARCH OF THE MILLENNIALS
According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2015, the 18 to 34-year-old population (Millennials) number 75.3 million, surpassing Boomers at 74.9 million. GenXers (35 to 50), too, will outnumber Boomers by 2028.
It gets pretty challenging to strategize a one-size-fits all benefits plan. How are you dealing with this demographic puzzle? Our expertise and experience with many different types of clients can help you sort it all out.
THE RISE OF VOLUNTARY BENEFITS
Voluntary benefits are a hot topic. You’ve probably debated what types of voluntary benefits would integrate best with your employer paid benefits and how to communicate them to your employees. Should you offer new programs like discounted daycare or a pet sitting service? Good questions. The answers should be driven by the demographic mix of your employees. We can help you make the right choices.
THE DESIGN OF SUCCESSFUL WELLNESS PROGRAMS
As reported in the March 6, 2016 edition of the New York Times, “four out of five large employers in the United States offer some sort of financial incentive to employees to improve their health.” Yet many employer-run wellness programs haven’t met expectations. Why? Studies conducted by two of the Perelman/Wharton professors noted in the Times article proved that financial incentives separated from insurance premiums – and paid periodically – can work. In fact, a financial reward that is impacted by deductions for goals not achieved can work very well. Wellness programs can succeed or fail by design – and the way they are communicated. You can rely on us to help develop a thoroughly researched wellness program that actually helps people get and stay well.
The Benefits Plus Consulting Team can help you strategize, communicate and execute smarter than ever before. We can also help you hold plan vendors accountable to deliver true value despite the increasing complexity of this ever changing landscape.