Employee medical coverage was the health benefit offered by the greatest share of employers for all employee types, followed by dental coverage, and medical coverage for dependents. For management and full-time employees, the information sector reported the largest share of firms that offered employee medical coverage (70% for each), dental insurance (60% and 59%), and medical coverage for dependents (63% for each). For part-time employees, financial activities (23%) firms offered employee medical coverage most frequently, but health care and social assistance reported the largest share of firms that offered dental insurance (19%) and medical coverage for dependents (16%) to part-timers.
Employers identified ways that health benefit costs affected aspects of their business over the past year. More than one-half (54%) of employers who offered health benefits reported that costs had reduced their business profits. Nearly one-quarter (24%) indicated that health care costs caused them to reduce other benefits to their employees.
|Health Care Costs Rose for Oregon Employers in 2012|
|Offered health care to employees||2,419|
|Employer health costs changed||1,730|
|Average cost change1||+ $48.48|
|Median cost change1||+ $30.00|
|1Based on the 1,499 employers who provided amount of cost change|
Employers also provided details about their defined benefit or defined contribution plans. The 401k, 403b, or 457 plan option proved to be the most popular, by far, among employers. Across all industries, roughly one out of four employers offered a 401k, 403b, or 457 plan to management and full-time employees (Table 2). The industries with the largest share of employers who offered this benefit fell into the information, wholesale trade, and manufacturing sectors. For part-time employees, industries with the largest share of firms who offered these plans included information, health care, and financial activities.
Few private employers offered defined benefit plans - those with guaranteed pensions - to employees. Overall, 5 percent of all firms offered this retirement benefit to management or full-time employees, and nearly 3 percent of firms offered this type of retirement option to part-time employees.
|Share of Employers Offering 401k, 403b, or 457 Defined Contribution Plans by Industry|
|401k, 403b, or 457 Plan|
|Health care and social assistance||40%||42%||25%|
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||29%||30%||16%|
|Management, administrative, and waste services||28%||27%||11%|
|Transportation, warehousing, and utilities||27%||28%||11%|
|Private educational services||24%||26%||20%|
|Leisure and hospitality||12%||11%||6%|
|Natural resources and mining||8%||9%||2%|
Across all industries 61 percent of eligible employees enrolled for retirement benefits (Graph 2). That's 13 percentage points below the health benefit enrollment rate for all industries. This pattern held across most industries. The greatest difference in health and retirement enrollment occurred in leisure and hospitality (47 percentage points) and information (42 percentage points). Other services countered the prevailing trend when comparing health and retirement enrollment: 76 percent of eligible employees took up retirement benefits, while 51 percent of those eligible enrolled for health benefits.
The disparity in enrollment existed for each type of worker. Roughly three-quarters (77%) of eligible management employees enrolled for retirement benefits; by comparison, 83 percent of eligible managers enrolled for health benefits. Similarly, retirement enrollment rates for full-time (65%) and part-time (37%) employees fell below the health benefits enrollment rates (75% and 48%, respectively).
Leave benefits showed to be the most commonly offered for management and full-time employees (Table 3). Paid vacation topped the list; 49 percent of firms offered this perk to managers, and 51 percent offered it to full-time employees. Employers reported that unpaid leave was the most commonly offered for part-time employees; 28 percent of firms extended this benefit.
|Share of Firms That Offered Selected Leave, Pay, Insurance, and Fringe Benefits by Type of Employee|
|Paid sick leave||32%||31%||12%|
|Production or performance bonus||23%||24%||12%|
|Accidental death insurance||24%||23%||7%|
|Paid development training||25%||22%||9%|
|Cost of living adjustments||12%||14%||12%|
|Member dues or fees||18%||12%||4%|
|Health savings account||11%||9%||3%|
|Paid parental leave||9%||9%||3%|
|Paid charity time||9%||7%||3%|
Clear distinctions also emerged in the share of employers that offered the most popular benefits from one region to the next. Firms in the Portland area and along the I-5 corridor extended benefits to employees most frequently. In most cases, Central Oregon reported the third-largest share of employers who offered this series of benefits, followed by the Columbia Gorge, the Oregon Coast, and Eastern Oregon.