How Employee Benefits are Changing with the Times

As the Federal Affordable Health Care Act gets set to kick in nationwide there is a lot of attention on health care and medical benefits.

As the Federal Affordable Health Care Act gets set to kick in nationwide there is a lot of attention on health care and medical benefits. A lot of people are concerned that they might end up losing some of their benefits because of the rising cost for employers to continue providing such benefits. However, despite the uncertainties, there are still several employee benefits available in these changing times.

Long-Term Benefits

Employers offer many different kinds of benefits to their employees, including some common long-term options. They include:

·         Long-term health care insurance – this type of benefit can be very useful for employees who have a need for long-term medical care insurance in the event they have chronic mental or physical conditions that prevent them from taking care of themselves.

·         Long-term disability – some companies help their employees by offering long-term disability insurance. According to statistics, almost 20% of Americans will be disabled for a year or more before they turn 65. This insurance can protect your income should you become disabled. This is similar to what the government offers with SSDI, more information available at

Short-Term Benefits

There are many different, new and creative ways that companies are offering short-term benefits to their employees. They include:

·         Paid-time off – A new trend in paid time-off for many companies is to allocate a set number of days or hours for all time off, instead of forcing employees to take their vacation, sick or personal time in set blocks of time.

·         Work/Life balance – almost everyone is interested in a healthy work-life balance, which is a growing trend among many companies. Allowing people the opportunity to have flextime to take care of life’s many other necessities is a huge employee benefit for many people.

Health Insurance

Having good medical, dental and vision coverage can be a huge factor for almost any person. However, according to a recent study, from 2000 to 2011 the number of companies offering health insurance has dropped from 59 percent to 52 percent. For small businesses the number has gone from 47 percent to just 38 percent. One bright note is that many of these companies do offer other kinds of employee benefits to help make up for the lack of health benefits.

Retirement Savings

Many companies still offer their employees retirement savings plans, which include several options. Two of the most common are:

·         401k Plans – 401k plans have been around for a while, but one of the newest trends is the Roth 401k option. This requires you to pay taxes upfront on your income, but also allows for tax-free withdrawals for retirement.

·         IRAs – an IRA is another retirement plan, which comes in many different forms. IRAs are often similar to 401k plans, but they usually don’t have as many options as a 401k. Their contribution and withdrawal parameters are also different.

Another often-overlooked employee benefit is social security. Although you may not see the benefit in your paycheck, every time your employer pays money into social security it benefits an employee for his or her retirement down the road. Plus, should you ever get hurt and are no longer able to work you may very well end up drawing benefits from social security.


As you can see there are more kinds of employee benefits than you might think. Even if health insurance benefits are changing, and will continue to change over time, there are still many other ways companies can offer their employees other benefits in addition to their income.

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