BlogsCFO Survey Shows the Impact of Employee Health Benefits on Companies

September 30, 2016, by Ryan Miller

In 2015, the Integrated Benefits Institute conducted a major survey of CFOs. In this most recent survey and report, Chief Financial Officers and other senior finance executives were asked a number of questions about employee health benefits. The primary focus was on the changes in health benefits that have been a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010.

345 CFOs (40% of whom represent Fortune 1000 companies) were asked to consider the positive and negative aspects of “health-related” benefits such as health insurance and other policies introduced by employers to improve the health and wellness of their employees. How can decreased productivity and health-related absences be minimized? Can benefits like cost-sharing, specialty pharmaceutical coverage, health promotion efforts, value-based benefits and private healthcare exchanges make an impact in the overall “health” of the company?

Some of the key highlights of this survey shed light on how CFOs are looking at healthcare benefits and altering corporate strategies since the ACA was passed.

CFOs play an important role in company health benefit decisions
Of those surveyed, 85% agreed their finance function played a vital role in the health benefit decisions made within their companies. 24% said that their involvement has increased since the passage of the ACA.

Enrollee cost-sharing is on the rise
With the ACA in place, roughly half of the CFOs surveyed claimed employee premiums and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses have increased due to more high-deductible plans being offered.

Cost control for health benefits is just part of the equation
Nearly half of the CFOs selected “reducing and controlling healthcare costs” as the most important healthcare goal since the passage of the ACA. 87% put that as one of their top five considerations. Some of the other important goals include complying with government regulations, helping employees manage health and attracting/retaining better talent in the workforce.

Most CFOs are unlikely to change their health benefits strategies in the coming years
Only 27% of the CFOs surveyed said they would consider providing full-time employees coverage through private health insurance exchanges. More than double that said they would not. There was also a 15:1 ratio of those that said they would not eliminate health insurance for part-time employees.

Employers who believe in a culture of health are less likely to change their strategies
Many CFOs identified their companies as ones who value a stronger culture of health. With the ACA passed, their efforts have gone into incentivizing healthier employee lifestyles and providing value-based benefits and specialty pharmaceutical coverage. These employers are less likely to eliminate health insurance benefits in any way. Even those employers who viewed illness as a significant detriment to productivity are less likely to change healthcare strategies or eliminate insurance in the next three years.

More companies need to measure how health benefits affect business
Only 23% of CFOs surveyed claimed that their companies tracked health benefits in relation to positive business results. Most employers measure the participation of employees in benefit programs. However, only 6% calculated any return on investment (ROI) corresponding to health benefits. After performing this survey, the Integrated Benefits Institute shows that more CFOs need to be involved with measuring the impact of health benefits, especially since the passage of the ACA.

Have you been able to measure the ROI of your healthcare benefits plan? Centennial works as your consultant to tackle these important issues for your company.

To learn more about ways in which Centennial supports CFOs, please contact Ryan Miller at (714) 740-1111 ext. 274 or rmiller@thecentennial.com.