Trends in Ancillary Benefits by Employer Size, Region, Industry

New Study Highlights Trends in Ancillary Benefits by Employer Size, Region, Industry


Ancillary Benefits Predicted to Be a Greater Differentiator in 2013

United Benefit Advisors predicts ancillary, which includes voluntary, employee benefits will be a greater differentiator in 2013 than ever before, and today released preliminary results from a new study with responses from nearly 12,000 employers. Findings indicate vast differences in ancillary benefits offered by employer size, region and industry, highlighting the importance of using local benchmarking data in benefits planning.

For example, only 0.5 percent of the employers in the survey offer on-site clinics, however among employers responding to the question with more than 500 employees, the average was 7.4 percent. Perks such as pet insurance revealed similar differences for employers responding with 8 percent of employers with 1000 plus employees offering this benefit, but less than .5 percent of smaller employers with less than 200 employees included it in their benefits packages.

“As health care exchanges go online as a result of health care reform and fewer businesses are burdened with a full health care plan, we anticipate that interest in ancillary products will continue to grow,” says Thom Mangan, UBA CEO. “With more flexibility to offer attractive benefits like dental, life, long-term disability and paid-time off, employers are increasingly adding these product lines, at little or no cost, to attract and retain top talent. But the first step in crafting an employee benefits package with ancillary choices is knowing what others in your industry or area are offering.”

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • Nearly three quarters of all employers responding offer dental coverage, with almost all large employers providing the benefit.
  • A regional breakdown shows membership discounts are most popular in the Northeast where more than 5 percent of employers answering offer the benefit to individuals compared to less than 2 percent in the central part of the country.
  • Ninety-five percent of businesses replying with over 500 employees offered group-term life insurance, yet only 56 percent with less than 50 employees offered this benefit.
  • An industry breakdown of short-term disability coverage shows that 37 percent of employers responding in all major industries offer the coverage.
  • The responding construction, agriculture and mining NAICS industries offer long-term disability insurance much less often (31 percent) than the national average (45.9 percent).
  • The national average for critical illness availability was just 7.9 percent of employers in the survey and long-term care insurance was offered by only 3 percent of the nation’s employers, much lower averages than are seen among large employers.

The UBA Ancillary Products Survey Executive Summary is a preliminary sampling of the data collected from a brief questionnaire included in UBA’s 2012 Health Plan Survey of 11,711 employers throughout the country. The in-depth UBA Ancillary Products Survey — the only one of its kind in the market today – will provide benchmarking data broken down by size, industry and region from thousands of employers across the country results will be available in the late spring of 2013. Download the executive summary, or visit a local partner firm for help benchmarking your organization’s ancillary product offerings.

The 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey is the nation’s largest benchmarking survey with responses from nearly 12,000 employers sponsoring 17,905 health plans nationwide, making it nearly five times larger than the next largest health plan benchmarking survey. Results include more than 10,000 employers with less than 200 employees, making it applicable to small to midsize companies that comprise 99% of American businesses. With 1,382 employers of more than 200 employees, results are relevant to large employers, providing benchmarking data on an unprecedented level.

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