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A Look Back at the Most-Read Employee Benefits Articles of 2021

December 9, 2021

After a tumultuous 2021, most individuals are happy to turn the page to a new year and hope that 2022 will bring the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and much of its resulting effects.

As 2021 draws to a close, we’re taking a look at our employee benefits articles that were the most read by executives across the U.S. While these articles were published in 2021, they will continue to be topics of high interest for employers throughout 2022.

#4: Advantages Organizations Gain When They Know How Their Employee Benefits Stack Up to Peers’
In the Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey for fall 2021, respondents indicated that top challenges in meeting their organization’s workforce goals included attracting and recruiting talent (57%) and retaining talent (51%). When considering a new employer, job seekers often weigh the value of the benefits package before making a final decision. If an employer’s benefits package doesn’t keep up with the competition, the employer can expect its recruitment and retainment strategies to fail.

As we discussed in our article, benchmarking a benefits plan to peers’ plans can identify areas where the employer falls short and can highlight opportunities to improve benefits offerings. Benchmarking also helps employers identify if any of its benefits surpass peers’. Employers can consider scaling back those benefits and reinvesting these savings into other benefits or elsewhere in the organization.

The article details more advantages of benchmarking, and how USI Insurance Services’ annual Benefits Benchmarking Study provides unique insights for more than 6,000 participants.

Read the full article: Understand How Your Employee Benefits Stack Up to the Competition

#3: What’s Ahead for HR in 2022: Resources and Tools to Help HR Meet the Organization’s Evolving Needs
For several years now, human resources (HR) teams have been shrinking, and are continually expected to do more with less. The pandemic has brought HR professionals a new set of monumental and unforeseen challenges — from implementing remote work procedures to interpreting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on creating safe work environments and COVID-19 vaccination policies.

In 2022, HR professionals will be expected to continue working on strategic C-level initiatives while maintaining responsibility for administrative corporate tasks, such as answering employees’ inquiries about benefits and assisting with claim issues. USI believes that HR teams are better served with dedicated resources to assist employees and their dependents, as well as tools to streamline routine administrative tasks. Our November article highlights some of the tools and resources we’ve designed to meet HR’s needs. 

Read the full article: Resources to Help HR Meet the Changing Needs of Organizations

#2: Is Reference-Based Pricing Right for Your Organization?
Healthcare prices continue to rise, and employers are considering new strategies to contain and better manage costs. For many employers, reference-based pricing (RBP) is an interesting strategy, with the potential to dramatically reduce health plan spending by as much as 30%.

To understand how RBP plans reduce health plan costs, it’s important to recognize that PPO plans calculate their reimbursements to providers by applying confidential discounts, which creates a wide variance in hospital costs in a single geographic region. In contrast, RBP plans calculate reimbursements in a more transparent fashion, as multiples of the Medicare reimbursement rate, and offer it as payment to the provider.

Before implementing an RBP plan, employers must understand both the advantages and potential challenges of such a plan design. The USI RBP Interactive Guidance Tool was developed to help employers determine if RBP is a viable solution for their organization.

To learn more about RBP and how USI helps organizations understand and assess potential fit, read the full article or watch this short video.

Read article: Reference-Based Pricing Right for Your Organization
Watch video: Spotlight on Reference-Based Pricing

#1: 4 Emerging Trends Impacting Population Health Today
COVID-19 drastically impacted healthcare utilization in 2020, with fewer preventive care visits and age- and gender-specific screenings as many employees stayed home. Sadly, the National Cancer Institute predicts there will be 10,000 more breast and colorectal cancer deaths over the next decade because of these delays in care. In addition, McKinsey & Company reports that annual U.S. healthcare costs could increase by as much as $65 billion. To mitigate this trend, it’s important that individuals engage with their physicians on an annual basis.

2020 saw tremendous growth in telehealth, as plan members and healthcare practitioners found it was a suitable alternative for some services, particularly for behavioral health and chronic condition management. Telehealth utilization is expected to continue, and individual state departments of insurance are working to establish their reimbursement guidelines.

Mental health awareness also grew, as social isolation, financial turmoil and general worry over the pandemic had a negative impact on many individuals. As a result, many employers are implementing new resources to support better mental health.

Another trend in 2021 was the demand for more organizations to add family forming benefits to attract and retain talent. “Family forming” is an umbrella term that covers the many facets of how families are made, from pre-conception counseling to adoption, pregnancy support and surrogacy, as well as childcare and return-to-work support.

Employers should expect to see these four trends continue into 2022.

Read the full article: 4 Emerging Trends Impacting Population Health Today