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Voluntary Benefit Offerings in U.S. Rise 41 Percent During COVID-19 Pandemic, Aon Reports
CHICAGO, April 20, 2022 – Aon plc (NYSE: AON) today reported strong growth in U.S. employers offering voluntary benefits and workers selecting them during the 2022 open enrollment cycle. Aon, a leading global professional services firm, said the growth was fueled by employers trying to retain talent amid the Great Resignation and employee demand for supplemental health insurance products during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The firm reports a 41 percent increase in the number of employer clients that offered new or additional voluntary benefits through Aon and a 16 percent increase in workers who are eligible for these perks from 2021 through 2022. * Employee registration increased in more than half of the top 10 most popular voluntary benefits in the latest open enrolment cycle compared to the previous year. When including family beneficiaries, Aon has helped employers serve more than 14 million participants in 2022.
“During the last two years, it seems every employee knows someone who was hospitalized or fell gravely ill from COVID-19,” said Dani McCauley, U.S. customer experience leader for consumer benefit solutions at Aon. “Public health officials continue to emphasize stretched hospital capacity throughout the pandemic, and as a result there is an increased awareness of risks around hospitalization and critical illness, and along with the growth of high deductible health plans, employees are keen to hedge against this potential cost burden.” 
The fastest-growing voluntary benefits employees enrolled in amid the COVID-19 pandemic include supplemental health insurance policies such as critical illness, accident and hospital indemnity, in which employees pay a small monthly premium but receive a direct cash payout to help pay expenses if they are hospitalized or diagnosed with certain critical illnesses. Other popular voluntary benefits in 2021 were life insurance, student loan assistance programs, identity theft protection, legal benefits, pet care and auto/home protections.
Product 2021 employee participation 2022 employee
Critical illness 16% 27%
Accident 13% 23%
Hospital indemnity 10% 16%
Permanent life 10% 15%
Student loan assistance 8% 12%
Short-term disability 12%  10%
Identity theft 6% 6%
Legal protection 5% 5%
Pet insurance 1% 2%
Auto/home insurance 1% 1%

"Employers during the last two open enrollment cycles were focused on using voluntary benefits to improve total rewards strategies and bolstering workforce resilience in order to retain talent," said Greg Morano, U.S. practice leader for consumer benefit solutions at Aon. “To help employers make better, more-informed decisions, we remain committed to creating value for our clients and their employees through a broader carrier marketplace, better benefit choices and easier enrollment processes."

Aon's consumer benefit solutions, formerly known as voluntary benefits and enrollment solutions, helps employers promote and protect financial wellness by extending their benefits packages and providing enrollment and communication strategies that improve employers’ total rewards strategies and workforce resilience. By leveraging a proprietary digital platform, Aon delivers a year-round marketplace while simplifying human resources benefit administration through an effective combination of data, analytics and tailored products.
* The 41 percent increase represents new clients or existing clients with new lines of business. In 2021 that was 266 and in 2022 it’s 374.
About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) exists to shape decisions for the better — to protect and enrich the lives of people around the world. Our colleagues provide our clients in over 120 countries with advice and solutions that give them the clarity and confidence to make better decisions to protect and grow their business. 
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