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More employers offering mental health, contraception coverage: Report

Posted On: Jun. 24, 2014 12:00 AM CST

More employers offering mental health, contraception coverage: Report

ORLANDO, Fla. — Employers have offered an increased variety of health and wellness benefits to their employees in the last five years, including coverage for mental health care and contraception, according to a report released Tuesday by the Society for Human Resource Management.

The 2014 SHRM Employee Benefits report showed that 87% of employers offer mental health coverage in 2014, down slightly from 89% in 2013 but up from 82% in 2010. About 84% of employers reported covering contraception for their employees in 2014, up from 82% in 2013 and 68% in 2010.

Alexandria, Virginia-based SHRM interviewed more than 500 human resource professionals for its annual survey, which was released during the organization's Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando. Of the respondents, 28% reported an increase in the amount of benefits offered by their companies in the last 12 months, while 63% said their benefit levels remained unchanged.

While companies maintained or increased their benefit levels, many also said they were shifting more costs to employees, according to SHRM. For instance, 45% of employers offered health savings accounts in 2014, up from 42% in 2013 and 33% in 2010.

“Offering health benefits is critical to employee recruitment and retention,” Bruce Elliott, SHRM's manager of compensation and benefits, said in a statement. “However, the rising cost of health benefits, especially health insurance, has made it challenging for some employers to continue offering it. Because of that, employers are evaluating all their benefits and making adjustments.”