Unless you've been completely absent from the world of employee benefits for the last several months, you've probably noticed things have shifted. To put a finer point on it, benefits advisors who want to be trusted partners to their employer clients, retain current clients, and expand their book of business would do well to understand:

  • Two parallel trends affecting employee benefits: the cost of health care benefits and employers rolling back workplace and work-life perks
  • Why HR and benefits leaders should be refocusing their employee benefits strategies on core benefits in response to these two trends
  • How brokers can support companies to refocus employees on the sustaining value of traditional core benefits 

Trend 1: Increases in the cost of health care benefits are finally slowing

After years of rising rates that seemed to have no limit, the cost of health care benefits has finally slowed.

The cost of U.S. health care benefits is estimated to increase 6.5% in 2023, compared to the 9.4% hike employers had to suffer this year, according to the 2023 Global Medical Trends Survey from Willis Towers Watson. However, the survey also found that most U.S. employers aren't budgeting for or planning on slower increases in the cost of health insurance. 

Perhaps one reason is that most employers haven't seen the impact of the projected cooling off of health care benefit costs. Also, as the survey found, employers remain very much concerned about the cost and volatility of health insurance pricing.

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