Employers aren't cutting health benefits despite financial challenges, survey finds

Employers are enhancing, rather than slimming, their employee health benefits despite new financial challenges brought by COVID-19, according to a survey from global advisory company Willis Towers Watson. 

The COVID-19 Benefits Survey, which fielded responses from 816 employers during the week of April 20, found 47 percent of respondents are enhancing their employee healthcare benefits, and 45 percent are widening their well-being programs. The surveyed companies employ 12 million workers.

While some companies are reducing costs by implementing furloughs, pay cuts and reductions in 401(k) matching contributions, many aren't ditching well-being plans. Instead, 77 percent of employers surveyed are expanding access to virtual mental health services, and 60 percent are offering virtual workouts.

The survey also found most employers aren't anticipating substantial increases in healthcare benefit costs. Fifty-seven percent expect a small to moderate increase and 24 percent expect costs to stay the same. Only 3 percent expect substantial health benefit cost increases.

View the full survey here.

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