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Webinar Recap | Employee Benefits Landscape & April Compliance Updates

April showers brought insights on trends in health insurance, evolving cost structures, common buying questions for small and mid-size employers, and more.

Webinar Recap | Employee Benefits Landscape & April Compliance Updates

Adams Keegan’s Charles Rodriguez and Amanda McCollum were joined by Amanda Keel, President at The James Group, for our April webinar. They discussed insights on trends in health insurance, cost structures, and common questions for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). They also explored opportunities for offering employees earned wage access (EWA), pay cards, and employee assistance programs (EAPs).

Couldn’t join the discussion on April 26? Click here for the full conversation.

Current data trends in modern benefits landscape
Across small to medium-sized businesses, national averages reveal noteworthy trends. Employee contributions, whether for single or family coverage, have seen a consistent rise in dollar amounts over the past four years. Despite escalating premiums, employees' percentage of payment remains relatively stable. Deductibles have also experienced an upward trajectory.

Market trends, encompassing various factors like technological advancements and administrative expenses, are crucial in predicting future healthcare costs. The focus shifts from mere premium increases to encompassing market trends, which typically range from 8% to 13%, with regional variations. Additionally, when comparing benefits across different company sizes, smaller firms often exhibit a slightly lower average premium. The percentage of firms offering benefits correlates with company size as well, with larger companies showing higher rates of coverage provision.

Ancillary benefits
Ancillary benefits offer additional financial protection and support beyond traditional health insurance. Critical illness and hospital coverage have seen significant increases in adoption by employers, providing employees with financial assistance in the event of serious medical conditions or hospitalization.

Additionally, supplemental benefits like dental and vision insurance remain popular options, ensuring comprehensive coverage. Term life insurance offers valuable protection for employees and their families, while disability insurance provides income replacement in case of injury or illness. With the rise of state-mandated paid family leave programs, understanding the interaction between employer-offered disability insurance and state benefits is crucial to ensure employees fully leverage their benefits. While state-mandated paid family leave programs can provide additional support, they may inadvertently overlap with employer-offered disability benefits, leading to double coverage that employees may not be able to fully utilize.

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) offer tax-saving opportunities for healthcare expenses, with HSAs providing greater flexibility and long-term savings potential. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) continue to be valuable resources for mental health support and counseling, highlighting the importance of education and communication to encourage utilization of these benefits.

Supporting benefits
Supporting benefits enhance the overall appeal of a workplace. Earned wage access, once exclusive to industries like retail and hospitality, is gaining traction across sectors due to rising financial stress and the demand for instant access to earnings. Employers can offer this benefit independently or through payroll providers, ensuring employees access fair and reliable options.

Similarly, pay cards, traditionally for the unbanked, now cater to employees seeking flexibility and dependability. Especially during emergencies like inclement weather, pay cards provide a lifeline, ensuring uninterrupted access to funds without the risk of mail delays or physical checks.

The webinar also featured discussions around regionalized data, common insurance profiles, trends in telemedicine, and important employer compliance updates, such as the Department of Labor’s final rule on minimum salary requirements and the National Labor Relations Board’s joint employer rule.

Check out the entire webinar and give yourself about 40 minutes to take a deep dive into the conversation.



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