FSA Friday - 2/1/19 - See where benefit costs go!

A picture is worth a thousand words. It might be a dated thing to say to an Instagram audience, but when it comes to adding some impact to data, it couldn't be more relevant. Especially when it comes to an area as confusing as health care costs.

This week's headline is built on that premise. Scott Wooldridge of BenefitsPRO gets to the bottom of a new analysis on the cost of employee benefits. And not just the overarching totals, but rather a clear view on how certain variables -- like geography, industry and size -- all affect the value of our benefit packages.

Breaking down benefit costs: 6 charts that show where the money goes - Scott Wooldridge, BenefitsPRO

The analysis was put together by Bay Alarm Medical, which published a report that compared a slate of employee benefits to overall costs of compensation (supplied by data on more than 27,000 roles and 6,600+ industries). The goal? To find out where companies are spending the most money on employee benefits.

We obviously won't repeat the report in full - they did a fantastic job on their own. So, here's a link to the full "Worth of Your Well-Being" report, followed by a few highlights we thought might be of some interest to you, starting with what the report calls 'the big picture.'

Overall cost of compensation

As the related chart points out clearly, almost 70% of employer compensation costs come from wages and salaries, with most of the remainder going to benefits -- an average of nearly $22,000 per employee, per year. Yet, health insurance covers just 7.5% of overall compensation, and other, more fringe benefits like student loan repayment are barely represented.

Benefit costs are increasing rapidly

This area saw a 28% growth over the last 14 years -- likely due to more chronic illness, aging workforces, and the higher costs of premiums.

The analysis finds that total costs of benefits to employers have increased 368% over that same 14 years. During that time, health benefit cost has increased by 28%, which the study attributes to chronic illness and rising costs from health care providers.

But it should be mentioned there was also a 161.8% boost in vacation use -- remember what we've been discussing each week about work/life balance being a factor to young employees? Well, now we have some visual data to back it up.

The charts and breakdowns are very well done and worth a look, even if you're just a little interested in seeing where your company might be allocating its money. After all, employees are a company's greatest asset -- and you deserve to know how they're investing in you.


FSA Friday is a weekly roundup of the latest topics, tips and headlines to keep you updated on all things flex spending. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the exclusively on the Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Living Well
Photo by Csaba Balazs on Unsplash

FSA Friday - 6/1/18 - Millennials, health benefits and the future

Millennials are a hot topic among employers, and for good reason — they currently make up the largest chunk of today's workforce. With the oldest millennials now approaching their mid-30s, taking over management positions, and the youngest just graduating college, they're present in all areas of the workforce. And they're proving to be pretty skilled at preparing for their present -- and future -- well being.

In this week's FSA Friday, we take a look at this heavily discussed generation, with two articles covering this generation's approach to healthcare, benefits and retirement. (Hint: They're doing it better than most.)

Are millennials the best retirement savers? - Joel Kranc, BenefitsPRO

According to the Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017 released by the Federal Reserve, 74% of adults said they were either doing okay or living comfortably in 2017. But less than 40% of non-retired adults think their retirement savings plan is on track.

(Alarming side note: Nearly 25% of non-retired Americans say they have no retirement savings or pension at all.)

But millennials have a different plan. In the J.D. Power 2018 Group Retirement Satisfaction Study, we learn millennials are the most likely of all demographics to set retirement goals and have the highest amount of savings (relative to their career length) in group retirement plans.

In arguably the most interesting fact -- 51% of millennials have set specific retirement goals, compared with 44% of Gen X and Boomer participants. And of that 51%, most say they're on track to meet their goals.

How do millennials make benefits enrollment decisions? - Jennifer Beck, BenefitsPRO

It seems like millennials are more aware of their benefits and well-being. But what exactly do they want from their benefits? And how do they go about deciding which benefits to choose?

In a separate BenefitsPRO article, we learn that Russell Research was commissioned to find the answers to these (and other) questions about employer benefits. Millennials evaluate available benefits by asking themselves three primary questions:

  1. "What essential benefits do I need?"
  2. "Which non-essential options am I interested in?"
  3. "Based on my budget, which of these benefits can I afford?"

Also, they're more cost-conscious than other generations when it comes to benefits. While roughly half of this group keeps budget front of mind when selecting benefits, only 42% of older generations do the same.

The article also dives into how millennials are protection-minded, and how employers will probably need to adapt their benefit packages (and tools to manage them) in order to offer real, relevant value to millennials.

FSA Friday is a weekly roundup of the latest topics, tips and headlines to keep you updated on all things flex spending. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the exclusively on the Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


FSA Friday with Sean - 1/5/2018 - Key employee benefit trends for 2018

Now the 12/31 FSA deadline has passed, we have a bit of breathing room here at before we ramp up for the next big deadline, the FSA Grace Period, coming on March 15! But, before we get to that, let's read about the employee benefit trends that may affect you in 2018.

Whether you're a manager or an entry-level employee, knowing what's out there in terms of employee benefits and health coverage can help you make more informed choices in the future and get the maximum bang for your buck. Here's what to look out for in 2018.

20 Companies with the Best Benefits - Nick Otto, Employee Benefit News

Looking for a new job in 2018? You may want to look at these companies first. Employee Benefit News used data from Glassdoor Economic Research to build a list of American companies that go above and beyond for their employees in terms of health/dental/vision insurance, vacation/paid time off, retirement planning, and maternity/paternity leave.

On-Trend: 9 Voluntary Benefit Trends for 2018 - Nick Park, BenefitsPro

Today, health coverage, PTO and retirement planning are common employee benefits. It's voluntary benefits options that have become key for attracting new talent. BenefitsPro compiled a list of the most popular trends to expect in 2018, including student loan assistance, identity theft protection, personal financial planning, and more.

The 15 Biggest HR Challenges of 2018 - Nick Otto, Employee Benefit News

On the other side of the benefits discussion are the concerns faced by HR professionals, who directly communicate changes and updates to workers. Many of these HR trends reflect today's evolving workplace, including placing an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, curbing workplace harassment, and other relevant issues.

Happy New Year from all of us at! For the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow our Learning Center, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.