Organizations Manage Health-Care Costs Through Employee Education and Accountability

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As employer-provided benefits continue to become a bigger portion of labor costs, organizations are increasing employee cost sharing as well as providing employee health education, wellness initiatives and financial education/advice. According to the Employee Benefits Accountability and Consumerism 2011 survey by WorldatWork, 45% of surveyed organizations report that turning employees into educated consumers of benefits is a very high priority for their organization's top management with more senior leaders now acting as advocates.

"It's interesting to note that, although the top human resources executive is still the primary champion of employee benefits consumerism, we saw an uptick in respondents reporting that the CEO, President or another member of the senior leadership team is their primary advocate," said Lenny Sanicola, a WorldatWork certified benefits professional. "What this tells me is that benefits and especially health-care is increasingly being recognized as directly impacting bottom-line profits."

Other key findings:

  • 38% of employers say they have seen desired changes in employee behavior as a result of their organizations' efforts to make employees better consumers of health-care benefit programs.
  • More companies (47% in 2011 vs. 27% in 2006) are offering consumer-driven health plan options (CDHP) as a way to manage costs and a greater number are offering health savings account-based plans as their preferred choice.
  • Health-care reform does not appear to be the primary driver for the trend toward offering more CDHP options. Although 31% reported that their efforts toward offering CDHP increased due to reform, 67% reported that their efforts stayed the same. 
  • On the retirement side, the number of organizations offering financial education and financial advice increased in the past five years, from 22% in 2006 to 36% in 2011.

"With the recent economic downturn, it is surprising that there are not more employers embracing this opportunity to offer financial education to their employees," Sanicola added. "Those that do have seen increases in employee contributions to 401(k) plans as well as more active participation in making investment decisions."

About the Survey

The Employee Benefits Accountability and Consumerism 2011 survey was conducted from July 20-August 5, 2011, resulting in a 10% response rate and a final dataset of 462 responses. This high response rate and a similar demographic profile between survey respondents and the general WorldatWork membership provides a high level of confidence regarding the validity of the data. The survey was previously conducted in 2004 and 2006. View video at

About WorldatWork®:

The Total Rewards Association

WorldatWork ( is a not-for-profit organization providing education, conferences and research focused on global human resources issues including compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork has nearly 30,000 members in more than 100 countries. Its affiliate organization, WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals®, is the certifying body for the prestigious Certified Compensation Professional® (CCP®), Certified Benefits Professional® (CBP), Global Remuneration Professional (GRP®), Work-Life Certified Professional™ (WLCP®), Certified Sales Compensation Professional™ (CSCP™), and Certified Executive Compensation Professional™ (CECP™).  WorldatWork has offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Washington, D.C.

The WorldatWork group of registered marks includes: Alliance for Work-Life Progress® or AWLP®, workspan®, WorldatWork ® Journal, and Compensation Conundrum®.

Contact:  Marcia G. Rhodes, (480) 304-6885
[email protected]

SOURCE WorldatWork