The evolving landscape of employer-sponsored health care with regards to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the implications that the law will have on voluntary benefits was discussed at a Prudential briefing in New York yesterday.
“The rising cost of health care is leading companies to shift more cost to employees, as well as to offer employees a robust menu of voluntary benefits to address key financial risks,” said Stephen Pelletier, president of Prudential Group Insurance.
However, although employers feel that offering a wide array of voluntary benefits to employees helps retain and attract talent, we have yet to see whether employees attach the same value to something that for the most part they don’t understand and, more importantly, don’t understand they need.
The panel of benefits experts at the event included Dallas Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI); James Klein, president of the American Benefits Council; and James Gemus, senior vice president of Group Life and Voluntary Benefits, Prudential Group Insurance.
The discussion revolved around two recent Prudential white papers, “Optimizing Employee Benefits in the Post-Health Care Reform Environment,” and “Voluntary Benefits: A Critical Tool for Improving Employees’ Financial Wellness.”
Mr. Klein purported that as PPACA is implemented, health care benefits will become more commoditized and that the voluntary benefits that employers offer to their employees will be the “differentiator.”