Leading benefits experts outlined the challenges and choices employees are facing when it comes to making benefits decisions during the annual benefits enrollment season at a briefing in
According to a release, experts from
"The rising cost of health care is leading companies to shift more cost to employees, as well as to offer employees a robust menu of voluntary benefits to address key financial risks," said
Benefits experts at the event, including
"Employee benefits are highly valued and provide flexibility to meet the needs of workers," said EBRI's Salisbury. "While health care is the priority for most workers the importance of education and increased understanding of the role and importance of the range of benefits offered cannot be understated."
Reflecting the shift in benefits decisions to individuals, the panelists noted that voluntary benefits and products are becoming increasingly important to employees, a point highlighted in two Prudential white papers, "Optimizing Employee Benefits in
"Health care reform has the potential to apply added pressure to leading employers as they manage finite budgets for benefits cost and compete for top talent," noted
Drawing upon the findings from the "Optimizing Employee Benefits" white paper, Prudential's Gemus noted the accelerated pace of change in the benefits space including the adoption of wellness programs, and the shift in cost and decision making to employees.
"Given the importance of these decisions and the risk that health care crowds out other important benefits choices, we have developed a new benefits needs estimator that is helping employees better understand the coverage they will need," said Gemus. "We also believe that it is important for more companies to move to year round benefits selection and separate health care from other benefits choices to ensure that employees have the time to make the most informed choices that will ultimately support their overall financial wellness."
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