Executive Summary

The 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report highlights the impact health care reform is having in the workplace, the growing importance of voluntary benefits to workers, as well as the correlation between good benefits and business success.

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Benefits Open Enrollment Guide for Employers

Learn about pressing benefits issues and gain valuable resources for effective benefits communication during open enrollment season with this easy-to-use guide for employers.

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Health care reform and the transformation of workplace benefits

New research from the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report1 finds that despite a lack of clarity about the impact of health care reform, businesses are cautiously forging ahead with changes to their benefits plans. As a result, employees may be left on their own when it comes to benefits education and financial protection. 

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American workers are at the edge of a financial cliff

The economy is showing signs of improving, but Americans’ bank accounts are in need of resuscitation: Put simply, anemic pay raises combined with sharp increases in out-of-pocket health care costs have creditors knocking on many consumers’ doors

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Wellness Program Trends

The fourth annual Aflac WorkForces Report identifies benefits trends and challenges based on responses from 5,209 employees and 1,856 business decision-makers across the U.S. The 2014 study provided an in-depth look at employee wellness programs, clearly pointing to what effective programs do differently and how employees benefit from programs offered at their workplace.

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Proof that wellness programs impact more than waistlines

Companies that believe their wellness programs are effective are more likely to approach benefits differently than their peers. Typically, these companies offer a variety of programs, tailor benefits at different life stages, and focus on effective benefits communication and enrollment. It’s no wonder these businesses appear to see a positive effect on their workforces.

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5 components of a successful wellness program

Companies with effective wellness programs are implementing benefits differently to promote a culture of wellness and, as a result, have happier and better prepared employees. Build an employee wellness program that helps contain health care costs and improve employee engagement with these five practical tips.

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Waste not, want not

Many Americans spend the last few days of a pay period frantically checking their bank balances. That's because their accounts are often pennies away from being overdrawn: 76 percent are living paycheck to paycheck, which means the next injection of cash can't come soon enough.

Given this sad state of financial affairs, you might think workers are using voluntary-benefits open enrollment to look for ways to enhance their health care coverage and save money too. Unfortunately, that's not the case: 90 percent push the easy button by choosing the same benefits year after year, and 42 percent estimate wasting up to $750 annually by making mistakes with their insurance benefits options.

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Use benefits to tame millennials' job-hopping ways

U.S. workers' habits and demands are constantly evolving. Today's employees aren't like those of yesteryear - they don't take jobs and remain in place until it's time to collect a pension and a gold watch. Companies have changed too, making the promise of a pension and a fancy timepiece rare.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials switch jobs an average of every 3.2 years. At that rate, they'll hold 14 jobs over the course of a 45-year career. No company wants to invest time and money into training an employee only to lose that worker to another employer, and especially not to a competitor. Given the importance millennials place on workplace benefits - 24 percent of them say an overall benefits package is extremely important to employer loyalty – benefits options may be key to convincing them to remain in place.

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Latino employees value workplace benefits and are looking for opportunities for growth

The National Council of La Raza estimates by 2050 that 1 in 3 working Americans will be Hispanic. These employees desire to be more engaged in benefits and they're looking for new opportunities for growth, but is your company tailoring benefits and communications to their needs? Gain key strategies to boost retention and productivity by adapting your approach to a growing workforce demographic.

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Employees roll the dice on health matters

National statistics claim 75 percent of U.S. adults have gambled in the past year, but employees may be gambling with something they aren’t ready to lose – their health. Results from the fourth annual Aflac WorkForces Report show individuals are overly optimistic about their likelihood of experiencing accident or illness, they’re wary to seek medical treatment and few are making healthier choices, despite knowing they should.

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Answers to tough benefits-enrollment questions

Employees face many new decisions during open enrollment. Aflac helps small-business leaders tackle key benefits-enrollment challenges to better equip employees to make decisions for the year ahead.

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Time well spent?

Americans spend more time shopping for televisions and computers than they devote to choosing health insurance. When it’s time to select their health insurance options, most Americans do a thorough job of researching the types and amounts of benefits that best meet their unique needs, right? Wrong. They devote more time to shopping for computers and televisions and researching new cars than to choosing the health insurance coverage that helps protect their physical and financial well-being.

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The growing importance of voluntary insurance benefits

Voluntary insurance benefits are gaining a lot of positive attention and for good reason. Trends from the fourth annual Aflac WorkForces Report show voluntary insurance products are increasingly important to employees and employers.

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Small businesses regain some ground

Still challenged with the slow economy, small businesses reveal in the fourth annual Aflac WorkForces Report that they aren’t enthusiastic about hiring. Instead, they’re more positive when it comes to other matters, including understanding health care reform and taking better care of their employees.

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Stretching the truth about money and health

Sometimes it’s hard to be completely honest with ourselves – and that’s okay when denial is limited to small, harmless issues. But deluding ourselves about health and finances can be dangerous not only for ourselves but for our loved ones too.

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Help relieve employees' financial famine with a feast of benefits options

For many workers, a leaky roof, an unexpected car repair or an unexpected illness can be financially disastrous. In fact, a recent survey found that 76 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Employers can help workers bridge financial gaps by adding a wealth of voluntary insurance options to their employees' benefits plans.

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For employers, benefits enrollment starts today

Employee open enrollment is months away, but for smart companies it begins now – long before it's too late to make plan changes that directly affect the financial stability of their workforces. Find out how business leaders can help ensure employee well-being and contentment with the actions they take today.

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4 simple ways to win talent like a ‘Best Place to Work’

Small companies can’t always offer their employees the pay or stock options that larger competitors can, but that doesn’t mean your business can’t make a winning appeal to the best, brightest and most driven employees.

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Turning Tables: How Benefit Decisions Will Impact Employers

The tables have turned this year’s open enrollment season. Historically open enrollment focused on the importance of benefits decisions for workers, however this year it ushers in equally critical benefit decisions for employers.

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