Cranford-based Bankers Cooperative Group Inc. (BCG) on Tuesday released the results of its 10th annual New Jersey Bankers Association Employee Benefits Survey.
This year’s survey includes information regarding New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Benefit and takes into account the changes in that program that take effect July 1, 2020. The survey, which is focused on NJBankers bank members, provides detailed insights into the current landscape of employee benefits; it is based on completed surveys from 45 institutions.
Key findings by topic include:
Health care costs – The average medical increase for respondents was 7.99 percent. The smallest average increase by asset category was the 2.99 percent average increase for banks with under $200 million in assets, while the largest average increase was 14.98 percent for banks with $500 million – $1 billion in assets.
Health care plan designs – Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans remain the most popular plan offered by respondents, with 60 percent of respondents offering a PPO to their employees while Qualified High Deductible Health Plans (QHDHP) are holding steady at 27 percent of respondents offering this plan. Member cost sharing saw a mild increase in areas such as deductibles, maximum out of pocket, and office visit copays.
Health plan funding arrangements – Seeking options to reduce year over year cost increase, respondents continue to turn to alternative funding arrangements as a strategy to gain greater control over health care plan costs. Twenty-nine percent of respondents implemented alternative funding strategies such as level funding, self-funding, and minimum premium arrangements.
New Jersey’s temporary disability insurance – With recent regulatory changes taking effect in 2020, this particular plan will see increased attention as its costs will increase on account of enhancements to member benefit amounts. Sixty percent of survey respondents utilize a private plan carrier, versus 40 percent utilizing the NJ State Fund.
Enhanced benefits – Core ancillary benefits including dental, vision, life, and long-term disability are provided by 100 percent of survey respondents. Voluntary benefits continue to expand in their reach with supplemental life, accident, critical illness, and hospital indemnity leading in popularity across respondents. Fast-rising benefits include ID theft protection, legal, pet, and student loan reimbursement.
Technology – The majority of survey respondents are currently utilizing an online enrollment platform to administer their employee benefits offering. Of the 31 percent of survey respondents not currently using an online platform, 57 percent of this subset sees value in providing online capabilities in the future.