“What to Expect During Open-Enrollment Season: Findings From the SHRM/EBRI 2014 Health Benefits Survey,” and “History of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Part 1”

December 2014, Vol. 35, No. 12
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 1,091 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2014

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Executive Summary

What to Expect During Open-Enrollment Season: Findings From the SHRM/EBRI 2014 Health Benefits Survey



  • The SHRM/EBRI 2014 Health Benefits Survey found that only 1 percent of plan sponsors are planning to eliminate health benefits in 2015. However, while most workers will not see major changes to their benefits next year, they are likely to see a continuation of changes that employers have been making for a number of years.
  • A relatively large number of employers continue to introduce wellness rewards and penalties, possibly the result of the combination of the PPACA-allowed higher financial incentives and the 2018 excise tax on high-cost health plans. Employers may also be focusing on wellness programs because of the link to worker risks and behaviors, which drive chronic conditions and account for a large percentage of overall health spending.
  • Few employers are planning to make changes to eligibility for spousal coverage and part-time worker benefits, and few are moving toward tiered networks, private health insurance exchanges, value-based insurance design, and reference pricing. Employers may be waiting for evidence from early adopters before making untested changes.
  • Ultimately, concerns about the excise tax on high-cost health plans may result in accelerated adoption of tiered networks, private health insurance exchanges, value-based insurance design, and reference pricing.

History of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Part 1



  • This is the first part of a history of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), which the EBRI board has asked Dallas Salisbury to fully document between now and his move from EBRI President (after 37 years in that position) to EBRI President Emeritus in 2016.
  • In early 1977, three representatives of consulting firms got together to discuss newly created responsibilities stemming from enactment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), their effects on consulting firms, and the need for objective, reliable, nonpartisan analysis.
  • EBRI opened its doors on December 4, 1978. The Institute’s early work supported the 1978 President's Commission on Pension Policy, which generated visibility for both retirement issues and EBRI and led to an expansion of EBRI’s membership and horizons.