The Bureau of Labor Statistics has confirmed what benefits brokers have been saying all along: The group benefits market looks pretty stable this year, and new state and local laws have led to rapid improvement in paid sick leave benefits.
(Related: Group Health Take-Up Rates Hold Steady)
The bureau, an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor, gave a statistical snapshot of the benefits market Friday in a new batch of data from the National Compensation Survey program. The bureau received responses from 8,175 civilian employers of all sizes, including 6,728 commercial employers and 1,447 civilian employers.
The current batch of data includes a peek at employers health plans, retirement plan, life insurance benefits and paid-leave programs. A copy of the release is available here.
The bureau will release a more comprehensive survey program data, with data on many other types of benefits, including dental benefits and disability insurance benefits, in September.
Agents, brokers and other financial professionals can use the survey data in their marketing and business planning efforts. They can also use the data in social media posts, blog articles and client newsletters, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics benefits survey reports are all in the public domain.
Here are four benefits market report highlights.
1. The group health market looked about the same in March as it did a year earlier.
To some agents, brokers and plan administrators who see benefits buyers up close, the small-group health market may look grim.
To government survey teams, the group health market looks stable.
This year, about 70% of all civilian employers offer health benefits, 52% of the employees participate, and 74% of the employees offered benefits take up the benefits.
The figures for 2016 were about the same: In 2016, 70% of civilian employers offered health benefits, 52% of the employees participated in health plans, and 75% of the employees offered health benefits took up the benefits.
(Photo: Allison Bell/TA)