Aon Survey: 77 Percent of Health System Employers are Concerned About Burnout

Sept. 1, 2021
A new survey from Aon on employer-sponsored health plans reveals interesting results on top concerns from employers and benefits offered to employees

According to a press release on Aug. 30, Aon released its annual Benefits Survey of Hospitals, that focuses on employer-sponsored health plans. Aon, headquartered in London, is a global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement, and health solutions.

The 2021 survey covers 150 health systems from the U.S., representing over 1,150 hospitals and over 2.4 million employees.

The release states that “The findings provide a stark contrast to cost-cutting measures hospitals put in place in 2020 during the pandemic lockdowns, when 54 percent instituted furloughs, 45 percent laid off workers, 15 percent suspended 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan contributions, and 10 percent announced voluntary separation programs.”

The release quotes said Sheena Singh, senior vice president of Aon's national healthcare industry practice, saying that "The top priority in 2020 was to mitigate rising costs for the employer—understandably, given the financial shock that health systems were reeling from. Now, the pandemic has exacerbated a labor shortage that could impact patient care delivery, delay attainment of organizational objectives, and accelerate burnout among clinical staff."

Further, the release states that “The report shows average health benefit expenses per hospital employee per year are projected to grow 2.7 percent, from $14,466 in 2020 to $15,133 in 2021, as hospitals ramp up to accommodate deferred medical services from 2020.”

Additionally, “Seventy-seven percent of hospitals aim to pay 76 percent or more of their employees' healthcare costs and 23 percent offer a no-cost health plan option to some segment of their employee population. Eighty-five percent of health systems surveyed provide a discount to employees via plan design to access their own facilities and providers.” 

Top concerns expressed by health system employers include:

  • Employee burnout/workforce resiliency (77 percent)
  • Employee work/life balance (76 percent)
  • Financial stress for employees (75 percent)
  • Benefits to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (73 percent)

Hospitals seek to reward employees with the benefits including:

  • Ninety-four percent are offering tuition reimbursement programs
  • Sixty-nine percent are offering flexible work options
  • Sixty-six percent are offering cash-out vacation policies
  • Forty-five percent are offering adoption benefits
  • Thirty-six percent are offering gender-affirming surgery
  • Thirty-three percent are offering on-site daycare
  • Thirty-two percent are offering student loan repayment plans
  • Thirty-one percent are offering back-up childcare

The survey can be accessed here.

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