What Do Employees Want in Their Health Benefits Package?

We've eliminated the guesswork by letting you know what employees really want.

Employee benefits in the last few years have evolved into a true attraction, retention, and engagement tool—as an employer, they can be instrumental in shaping the way that employees perceive you.

As the scope of employee benefits becomes broader, it can be hard to know if they are truly effective. In this handy guide, we’ve eliminated the guesswork by letting you know what employees really want in their health benefits package.

Price Transparency and Affordability

75% of patients look at price transparency prior to accessing care

TransUnion Healthcare Patient Survey, August 2019

With healthcare costs in the U.S. continuing to increase every year, the importance of understanding and receiving accurate estimates becomes clearer.

Clear information on out-of-pocket expenses impact on consumers’ decisions to use a healthcare provider. Increasingly, they want to know what care they’re getting, how much it costs, and why they need it.


18% of employees want more personalized health care plans and benefits

AHIP Survey “The Value of Employer Provided Coverage”, February 2018

Consumers regularly receive personalized shopping and media recommendations, and they now expect the same kind of personalization in their health care experience. In a survey by AHIP, when asked what their health insurance coverage could be better at (apart from cost), 18% of employees said they would like to have more personalized and patient-centered coverage.

To give more personalized coverage, it’s important for you to understand your employees’ needs, and for your employees to have a good understanding of the kinds of benefits available to them. For example, educating your employees about HSAs or FSAs might give them a chance to save, and provide them with more personalized health care and benefits options. Another way of adding value to your employees’ benefits plan is through adding voluntary coverage, which includes benefits options that would otherwise be unavailable to them, or would be more expensive to get outside of a group plan. This includes things like legal services, worksite benefits, disability insurance, and life insurance. Different voluntary coverage options work for different people, so it’s important to provide these options in the first place!

To learn more about voluntary coverage, contact your health insurance broker.


25% of employees want easier-to-understand employer-sponsored plans

AHIP Survey “The Value of Employer Provided Coverage”, February 2018

Many employees want simple, clearly explained plan information so they can understand their benefits and make informed choices about how to use their plan.

Often, this can be done by providing straightforward and easy-to-understand resources (like this guide!), to help take the guesswork out of employee benefits plans. Some brokers also use technology-enabled benefits platforms to make plan enrollment easier for employees.

Comprehensive Coverage

39% of Americans who receive health care through their workplace cite comprehensive coverage as the main factor driving their satisfaction in their current health plan

AHIP Survey “The Value of Employer Provided Coverage”, February 2018

Previously, benefits emerged to address core health and retirement needs. In recent years, there has been a broader notion of what employee benefits are. Employee benefits are being challenged to do more—to better address employee wants and needs. One way to supplement and enhance your employees’ benefits package is again through adding voluntary coverage.

Voluntary coverage includes products that help create a more meaningful value for your employees’ benefits plan, at no cost to you.


26% of people on employer-sponsored plans want more online tools and apps to provide information about their health insurance options

Willis Towers Watson 2019/2020 Benefit Trends Global Insights, October 2019

Technology is increasingly being used as a tool to support employee benefit choices and help make informed decisions.

Through technology-enabled benefits platforms, employees are better equipped to make decisions and be in control of their health care. These benefits platforms help facilitate enrollment, and prevent any errors that may lead to employees being enrolled in the wrong coverage. Through a technology-enabled benefits platform, employers are also able to provide a simple solution to address both health plan guidance, and provide more options.

Mindfulness and Mental Health

43% of employers include enhancing mental health services in their top benefit priorities over the next 6 months

Willis Towers Watson 2020 COVID-19 Benefits Survey, May 2020

Despite facing rapidly changing business priorities due to COVID-19, a survey by Willis Towers Watson showed employers taking steps to support employees by making benefits enhancements, most notably by prioritizing mental health services and stress/resilience management.

As hospital visit volumes remain stagnant for the time being, new research also validates that alternative healthcare settings for mental health services—such as telehealth services—are growing in popularity. Plans that offer enhanced telehealth access let employees see their doctors anytime, anywhere—all from the comfort of their own home.

As a small business, offering group health insurance is one of the biggest advantages you have for attracting talent and improving employee production and retention—especially in challenging times.

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