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MetLife Finds More Employer Interest in Nonmedical Benefits

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Employers may be more eager now to hear just about everything their benefits brokers have to say.

Analysts at MetLife Inc. have posted the numbers in a summary of results from a survey of about 2,504 benefits buyers at U.S. firms with at least two employees.

The survey team conducted the polls from October through November, as election fervor was peaking.

The MetLife survey team asked the benefits buyers about their level of interest in hearing from brokers about 16 topics. For each of those topics, the buyers’ level of interest increased by 7 to 11 percentage points between 2015 and 2016.

The Affordable Care Act has imposed complicated benefits richness, employee counting, benefits reporting and penalty rules on employers. The percentage of employers who said they want to hear about that increased 7 percentage points between 2015 and 2016, to 64% in 2016.

The survey team found, however, that eagerness to hear about another topic jumped even more: The percentage of employers who said they want to hear about nonmedical benefits, such as dental insurance or disability insurance, rose 10 percentage points, to 58%.

Global benefits solutions are another hot topic. The percentage of employers interested in that topic jumped to 52%, from 41%.

Global benefits ranks last in terms of employer interest in 2016, but more employers want to hear about global benefits this year than wanted to hear about physical wellness programs last year.

— Read Individual Health Members Looked a Bit Riskier in 2016: Feds on ThinkAdvisor.