2014 Executive Summary

Charting workforce trends and challenges on the journey to health care reform

The Aflac WorkForces Report was launched four years ago, coinciding with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010. In the ensuing years, the Aflac WorkForces Report has provided valuable information in connection with the evolution of employer, employee and broker attitudes toward health care reform, and the way health care benefits options in the U.S. are purchased and delivered.

Employers have grappled to understand the ACA’s many regulations; as challenges to the legislation were resolved, employers had to shift their focus from “wait and see” to how to comply with the ACA. In developing ACA compliance strategies, employers have made, and continue to make, key benefits decisions that will impact their companies’ performances and the personal and financial well-being of their workers for years to come.

The 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report explored the crossroads at which companies found themselves when considering issues associated with health care reform. Would they take strides to understand and overcome the challenges of health care reform to emerge as benefits-savvy employers of choice? Or would they ignore the changing health care landscape to the potential detriment of their employees?

This year’s report examines the next phase of health care reform: the impact of employee benefits decisions that were made with health care reform in mind, as well as weighing the effectiveness of these decisions as future strategies are considered. Specifically, the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report:

  • Reveals that health care costs significantly influence workers’ overall financial well-being.
  • Shows that the average American worker is one serious medical event away from financial hardship.
  • Highlights the connection between benefits offerings and companies’ key performance metrics.
  • Outlines the growing importance of voluntary benefits options as the effects of health care reform become clear.
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