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Historically low unemployment rates and shifting expectations and opportunities in the workforce have forced organizations of all sizes to make smarter investments in their employees and resources. Employers seeking to attract, hire and retain top talent have been re-examining their tactics and embracing technology to accomplish their goals:

  • Employers are using data analytics and artificial intelligence to make strategic investments in their workforce to improve productivity and employee well-being.
  • Employers are offering a widening spectrum of benefits to attract and retain the best talent.
  • Employers are becoming nimble adapters in the face of a recovered, yet uncertain, insurance and financial marketplace.

This year’s trend report focuses on the strategies employers have been implementing in response to the constant changes and challenges they face today.

Click HERE to download the full publication. Each article will refer to supporting materials listed below so that you can learn more about these trends, and tap into the right solutions to help your organization succeed.

SPECIALTY DRUGS

What we're seeing

According the the 2018 Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute (PBMI) report Trends in Specialty Drug Benefits, only 1-2% of Americans use specialty drugs. However, by the year 2020, specialty drugs are expected to account for half of total U.S. drug spending. Therefore it's not surprising that 61% report say that managing specialty drug costs is their numbher one priorty when it comes to specialty drug benefits.

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Additional Resources

 

WORKPLACE WELL-BEING

What we're seeing

Claims are the biggest drivers of health insurance and workers' compensation premiums, but these areas are often viewed as separate, despite areas of overlap. A RAND Corporation study, Multiple Chronic Conditions in the United States, reports chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease contribute to higher healthcare costs from more doctors visits, prescriptions, and inpatient stays.

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Additional Resources

 

SELF-FUNDED EMPLOYERS

What we're seeing

The cost of large and often ongoing medical claims is increasing along with the cost of medications and treatment. According to the 2018 Sun Life Stop Loss Research Report, the number of claims over $1 million increased 87% between 2014 and 2017.

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Additional Resources

 

CYBER RISK

What we're seeing

The risk of business disruptions and lost income increase as businesses become more dependent on third-party vendors for data storage and management. According the Cloud Down--Impacts on the US Economy, a 2018 Emerging Risk Report co-produced by Lloyd's and AIR Worldwide, the disruption of a top-three cloud service provider for 3-6 days would cost the U.S. economy between $6.9 and $14.7 billion.

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Additional Resources

 

ADVANCED DATA ANALYTICS

What we're seeing

In any employee population, it is impossible to avoid chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. The key is to help employees manage these illnesses, thereby improving their health while reducing costs to the organization’s health plan. Data analytics related to chronic conditions in the employee population can help employers make strategic investments in education and disease management programs, increasing employee health and productivity and reducing avoidable health plan expenses.

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Additional Resources

 
Associated Benefits and Risk Consulting – MarketPulse - Emerging Trends

EMERGING TRENDS

What's coming up

We expect to hear a lot more about how Artificial Intelligence is influencing HR technology, the rise of paid parental leave, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, and mental health in the workplace in 2019.

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Bonus Content

 

PREDICTIVE MODELING

What we're seeing

While predictive modeling has allowed insurance carriers to identify their biggest cost drivers and flag those claims before costs grow out of control, employers run into trouble when insurance carriers rely too heavily on data analysis without tempered experience from human adjusters.

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Additional Resources

 

TARGET DATE FUNDS

What we're seeing

According to the working paper Opting out of Retirement Plan Default Settings by the RAND Corporation, 97.6% of retirement plans featured a target date fund (TDF) as the default investment alternative in 2016, and the popularity of these funds continues to increase. Many participants prefer target date funds because they invest in multiple, diverse asset classes.

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Additional Resources

 
Associated Benefits and Risk Consulting – Previous Trends

PREVIOUS TREND REPORTS

A look back at previous reports