May 8, 2017 | By Greg Guidos | Benefits Pro
According to a Bankrate.com survey, three out of four Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings. Meanwhile, a poll conducted by NPR, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, shows even with year-round health insurance coverage, more than a quarter of adults face major financial problems, even bankruptcy, because of the medical bills they cant pay off each year. Further, health care reform in the U.S. has placed more of the burden of health care costs on employees, as employers adopt high deductible health plans.
We dont know where the health industry is going, says Mike Wargo, national benefits director for Allstate Benefits, a Jacksonville, Florida-based provider of supplemental insurance to companies across the country. But we know health insurance premiums have risen and employers and employees have chosen higher premium plans.
Its a Catch-22 thats squeezing employees and the economically conscious companies where they work. But its also presenting an opportunity for companies to recruit and retain top talent through voluntary benefits programs that dont impact their bottom line.
A voluntary benefits program – which once may have been considered a nice-to-have option for employees and employers – has become an increasing necessity for many.