Health Care Trends

2024 State Of Employee Benefits

Participation in high-deductible health plans is highest among Generation Z

The 2024 “State of Employee Benefits™ Report” uncovers workplace benefits and savings trends to support the evolving needs of today’s workforce. Download the complete report here.

June 18, 2024 10:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time–CHARLESTON, S.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Benefitfocus, one of the leading benefits administration providers in the industry, announced today the release of its “2024 State of Employee Benefits™ Report,” a detailed look at how employers support today’s workforce through workplace benefits and savings programs.

“As employers evolve their workplace benefits and savings offerings to optimize outcomes and help manage increasing health care costs, the need for a holistic benefits package that supports a diverse workforce is necessary to remain competitive,” said Andrew Frend, president of Benefitfocus. “It’s essential that employers understand what employees are looking for in a benefits program. By leveraging data and insights, employers have a great opportunity to offer what their employees need.”

Across industry research, many findings show health care continues to be one of the most important employee benefits.[1] The Benefitfocus report uncovered that for the 2024 plan year, employers continued to expand health insurance options for employees, with 84% of employers offering a combination of traditional health plans and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) — giving workers across generations and circumstances more options to manage their health care and financial needs.

Identifying The Right Benefits For Employees

Notably, the report shows that participation in HDHPs in 2024 — often coupled with health savings accounts (HSAs) — is highest among Gen Z employees (45%), followed closely by millennials (43%) and Generation X (30%). This data suggests Gen Z’s relatively larger adoption of HDHPs may be a result of younger employees gravitating toward lower premiums (i.e., lower monthly costs of HDHPs) and potentially less financial burden.

The report also finds relatively few employers are offering solely a traditional (15%) or high-deductible health plan (1%), which suggests the need to support an individual’s health care and financial wellness needs influenced by life stage. As a result, Benefitfocus suggests that employers should consider more personalized solutions to help employees across all generations manage their health care costs.

“The decisions around identifying the right benefits at every stage in life is nuanced and personal, and employers have the ability to help meet those specific health care and benefits needs for every employee,” added Frend. “Employers that identify these distinct needs and create a more targeted approach to benefits management, education and communications have the opportunity to attract and retain multigenerational teams and promote better health and wealth for their employees.”

In addition to generational trends, the Benefitfocus report highlights the importance for employers to understand what employees are looking for in a benefits program, which can support a greater approach to overall benefits enrollment, utilization and, ultimately, cost savings for employers and employees. Based on additional report findings, key areas of focus for today’s employers include:

  • Help employees make optimal health plan selections. More than 8 in 10 employers offer their employees their choice of HDHP and traditional plans. While 64% of health plan enrollees selected a traditional plan in plan year 2024, enrollment in HDHPs is increasing across most generations.
  • Offer solutions to help employees across all generations manage health care costs. While employer share of premiums was 78% for plan year 2024, up from 74% in plan year 2022, employees are also faced with higher costs — a challenge that can be addressed by considering generational differences.
  • Raising awareness of HDHP and HSAs remains critical. According to Voya research, only 3% of the working Americans surveyed understood the full benefits of HSAs by correctly selecting all options (compared to 2% in 2020),[2] suggesting that employees need more effective education, guidance and support to consider how one choice might impact another.
  • Consider voluntary benefits that add value to employees’ whole-person well-being. Employees across all generations are taking advantage of accident, critical illness/specified disease and hospital indemnity insurance, along with ID theft, legal and pet benefits, as some of these more voluntary solutions can help employees minimize the financial impact of specifically covered events, such as an illness or hospitalization.

To view the full report, download a copy of 2024 State of Employee Benefits Report here.

 

 

 

About Benefitfocus
As one of the leading benefits administration companies in the industry, Benefitfocus — a Voya Financial company — is committed to helping organizations and the individuals they serve get the most value out of their health care and benefit programs. Engaging directly with more than 12 million employees in the U.S.,[3] Benefitfocus’ mission is to improve lives with benefits. Through exceptional service and innovative benefits administration technology, Benefitfocus helps simplify the complexity of benefits and deliver an experience that engages people for better health and improved outcomes. Learn more at benefitfocus.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
[1]. Forbes Advisor, “Best Employee Benefits in 2024,” Feb. 6, 2023.
[2]. Voya Financial Consumer Insights & Research survey conducted with Morning Consult between March 9-15, 2023, among n=500 working Americans age 18+ who have both an employer-sponsored retirement plan and a medical/health plan, featuring n=188 health savings account owners.
[3]. 1Q 2024 Voya Financial Fact Sheet. Through its insurance companies, Voya is a leading provider of supplemental health insurance in the U.S. and offers a comprehensive and highly flexible portfolio of stop loss, life, disability, and voluntary insurance products to businesses covering more than 7.2 million individuals through the workplace. Voya also offers health savings and spending accounts through its health accounts solutions business. Benefitfocus, a Voya company and a leading benefits administration provider, extends the reach of Voya’s workplace benefits and savings offerings by engaging directly with over 12 million employees in the U.S.