Ease report finds smaller companies rehiring furloughed workers at highest rate during pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO, March 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Facilitatea leading human resources and benefits management software solution for small businesses, insurance brokers and insurance companies, today released its second edition SME Benefits and Employee Information Report, which revealed how SMEs across the country are recovering from the economic fallout of the pandemic. According to Bureau of Labor Statisticsmore than 18 million workers have been made redundant by April 2020. The report, which draws on data from 75,000 SMEs and 2.5 million employees nationwide, found that companies with 1 to 10 employees have since rehired an average of 37% of furloughed workers, the highest rehiring rate among SMEs.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and the economy slowly recovers, our goal with this report is to help employers make informed decisions – backed by data – about the benefits they offer to help boost recruitment and employee engagement,” said david reid, CEO and co-founder of Ease. “We found that small businesses that survived the crisis were able to adapt and do more with less, and even rehire many of their employees. But with bonuses rising nationwide, small businesses need to look for more flexible, affordable plan options and voluntary benefits to help attract new talent and compete with big companies.”

Smallest companies rehired furloughed employees at the highest rate

Prior to COVID-19, the The US unemployment rate was at its lowest since 1969 create strong competition between employers seeking to attract the best talent. But during last year’s recession, the labor market and employment landscape changed dramatically as millions of Americans were laid off or laid off.

As the year progressed, job growth in the United States in the second and third quarters was tied to the return of furloughed workers to their companies, as well as the availability of financing through PPP loans. Companies in the Ease system have seen the following trends in rehiring employees laid off due to the pandemic:

  • 37.09% of employees who worked for companies with 1 to 10 employees
  • 2.21% of employees who worked for companies with 11 to 50 employees
  • 3.29% of employees who worked for companies with 51 to 100 employees
  • 4.24% of employees who worked for companies with 101 to 250 employees

Additionally, in 2020, the majority of insurance brokers surveyed (81%) said they helped their SMB clients lay off employees/navigate COBRA, according to Ease 2020 Fourth Quarter Preparation Report, in which Ease surveyed nearly 600 brokers, account managers and agency owners. Seventy-four percent said they helped clients terminate employees and 69% said they helped hire employees and conduct onboarding/benefits screening remotely.

Voluntary benefits take the lead in the talent war

Beyond standard medical benefits, optional voluntary benefit offerings have also increased at companies looking to differentiate themselves in the talent market. The larger the company, the more voluntary benefit plans offered per employee. A company with 101 to 250 employees had an average of 3.33 more voluntary benefit plans in 2020 than a company with 1 to 10 employees. The number of voluntary benefit plans offered per employee has increased by about 3% on average since 2018. The most popular plans are dental, vision, AD&D life, short-term disability and long-term disability.

On the west coast, in California the number of voluntary benefit plans offered per employee has increased by 2% since 2018, on average. Floridahowever, saw a slight decline in 2020, year over year, while Texas and new York saw slight year-over-year increases.

Medical premiums have risen, eclipsing the rate of inflation

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the healthcare industry and medical premium costs have been no exception. Year-over-year, the average Ease business saw an increase in individual medical premiums of nearly 6%, while family medical premiums increased by nearly 4% on average. Overall healthcare prices increased by 1.8% in 2020 and medical service costs increased by 1.7%. One area that remained constant despite the pandemic was hospital service costs, which increased only 3% from 2019 to 2020 and remained stable with the same increase as the previous year.

The report also looked at four states across the country: new York, Florida, Texas and California to compare benefit trends across the country at the state level. new York saw the largest increase in individual and family premiums with an increase of 20% and 15%, respectively. While Florida and Texas both saw individual and family premium increases, individual premiums were well below the $541 national average at $489 and $478, respectively. Family medical premiums in Florida also saw a noticeable gap, with companies with 1-10 employees seeing a 3% drop in family medical premiums in 2020, and companies with 11-50 and 51-100 employees facing steady increases. Although there is a strong correlation between company size and the increase in national premium costs in 2020, Florida showed more variability in 2020. Finally, California saw a 4% increase in individual premiums and just under 4% (3.73%) increase in family premiums from 2019 to 2020.

This outsized increase relative to both the rate of inflation and the rate of change in other costs in healthcare poses unique challenges for business decision makers as they seek to balance affordability, meaningful and quality care.

The report also revealed the emergence of a “digital-first” model of care designed to meet the needs of patients while physical points of care were closed. In fact, Ease brokers who pioneered telemedicine enrollment for their employer groups skyrocketed with a 109% year-over-year increase. A third of brokers surveyed said they had helped set up a telehealth option for their clients’ employees. This new model of care should not lose ground in 2021.

Fewer medical plans means more affordability

One way to help with affordability is to reduce the number of medical plan options. Over the past three years, the number of medical plans offered per employee has decreased by about 3% on average. This small but steady annual decline seen since 2018 signifies a cost containment effort by group leaders and corporate decision makers to steer employees towards the most affordable plan options, such as health insurance plans. high deductible (HDHP). HDHPs are especially popular among millennial employees because these plans are a lower-cost option.

In 2020, companies with more employees offered more medical plans than those with fewer employees. These large groups are able to take advantage of risk pooling that allows higher cost claimants to be compensated by the healthier and lower cost population within the employer group. Because of this risk transfer model, larger companies can offer a wider variety of medical plans that can be cost-prohibitive for smaller companies.

On average in 2020, employees of California and Florida some health maintenance organizations (HMOs) more than any other type of plan; while Texas employees chose Preferred Supplier Organizations (PPOs) at the highest rate. new York employees chose Sole Provider Organizations (EPOs) more than any other type of medical insurance plan, which typically have lower premiums than a PPO plan.

The full report, which delves into the benefits, costs and adoption, is available here.

About ease

Ease is an online benefits enrollment system designed for insurance brokers and employers. Ease simplifies benefits setup and management, new hire onboarding, compliance compliance, and provides employees with a single destination for all their HR information. Launched in 2012 in San Francisco by a benefits veteran david reid and web architect and engineering Courtney Guertin, Ease works with insurance brokers and small businesses to create seamless HR and benefits processes on one easy-to-use system. Ease has offices in Vegas, new York, Omaha and San Diego. In 2015, Ease was launched on the West Coast and is among the most widely adopted and fastest growing solutions for brokers and employers in the region, with over 75,000 employers and over 2.5 million of employees. For more information, visit www.ease.com.

SOURCE Facility

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