The COVID-19 outbreak hasseverely disrupted the U.S. business market, and in turn, has thepotential to significantly impact the workplace benefits industry.Nearly two-thirds of employers that offer insurance benefits wereeither temporarily closed or operating at reduced capacity in lateMay, and more than half either had made or were considering makingstaffing changes such as furloughs or hiring freezes.

These operational changes could make it difficult for businessesto continue administering their benefit plans and reduce the numberof employees who have access to workplace coverages. At the sametime, the pandemic is bringing the importance of various insuranceprotections into sharper focus. To learn more about how COVID-19will influence employers' plans for their benefits, LIMRA surveyedover 1,000 U.S. employers that offer benefits in late May 2020.

Although revising their insurance benefit programs is unlikelyto be employers' highest priority in the midst of a pandemic, thiscrisis is likely to prompt longer-term changes for some businesses.Approximately one quarter of employers say the coronavirus outbreak has made themmore interested in making changes to their insurancebenefit programs within the next 18 months, with large employersand those that have been disrupted by the pandemic more interestedin making changes.

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