Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Trends in Employer-Provided Benefits

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Aug• 06•10

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently conducted a survey of about 700 companies to determine the latest trends in employer-provided benefits.  The survey, conducted in early 2010, assessed the level of health insurance, retirement, and other benefits provided by firms from over 30 industries.

Today, I will focus on the results with respect to the health insurance.  Broadly, PPOs are still the most popular plan, but high-deductible plans are gaining ground.  Further, there is a general trend towards increased cost sharing both for in-network  and out of network care.  An increasing number of firms also utilize wellness (76%) and disease management (68%) programs for their employees.

The table provides a more detailed summary of the trends in employer-provided benefits between 2008 and 2010.

Retirement Benefits

Most firms provide retirement benefits, typically a 401(k).  Just over a third of firms (36%), however, offer a defined benefit plan. When 401(k) benefits are offered, half of companies allow employer contributions to vest immediately and the other half allow 401(k) contributions to vest within 3 years.

When elderly workers reach retirement age, they will be increasingly relying on Medicare.  The PwC report notes that “retiree medical programs continue to decline, especially those that are subsidized by employers.”

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  1. nigel says:

    Interesting post
    Do you have an information abut the size of these employers? I guess they are biased towards the large employers?

  2. Leon says:

    There’s a new Seattle area company called LyfeBank which collects employer(s) funds and directs them to employee LyfeVault accounts. Employees can use their accumulated account funds to purchase an individual or family insurance policy of their choice (high or low deductible), and pay for other qualified medical expenses with their LyfeVault Visa debit card. All with pretax dollars. This Consumer-Driven model could easily replace the current employer/insurer model.

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