2018 Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey

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About PwC’s 11th annual Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey

Our Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey reports on changes to employer sponsored health plans. The 2018 Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey results show a shift from the past trends. While healthcare cost increases continue to outpace general inflation; other factors such as a tight labor market and an influx of cash from tax reform have allowed employers to hit the pause button resulting in more status quo than adoption of emerging strategies. However, with the continued changes in the healthcare economy – consolidations, new entrants, emerging technology, new partnerships/mergers – employers who seize this moment will leapfrog their competitors by offering more cost efficient programs that optimize spend while engaging employees/dependents. While major regulatory reform does not seem imminent, those who wait on the sidelines during this healthcare transformation may find themselves behind in the struggle to win the war for talent and for greater engagement.


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PwC's Barbara Gniewek and Greg Mansur discuss the highlights of the 2018 Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey results.

PwC’s 2018 Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey results

Use the tools below to customize survey results based on industry, employee size and average employee age. Use the sliders to adjust for company size and average age. If you would like to see more customized results or have a deeper discussion regarding the Touchstone data, contact us and our team will get in touch with you.

Workplace attributes
Work/life benefits
People strategy challenges

The top 5 workplace attributes that employers believe attract employees to their company

Employers currently offer the following work/life benefits

The top 5 challenges to an employer’s people strategy


Employers’ expectations on healthcare costs

Employers continue to expect medical cost increases of 6.2% before plan changes and 3.5% after plan changes. Small employers are anticipating higher medical cost increases, 8.0% before plan changes and 4.9% after plan changes, while large employers expect increases of 5.1% before plan changes and 2.9% after plan changes.

While costs are going up, single coverage gross cost decreased 0.3% due to a  migration of single employees into HDHPs.


Do employers understand enough about employee priorities to retain talent?

33% of employers say compensation relative to market is the #1 factor attracting talent to their company. Medical benefits are seen as relatively unimportant for the youngest employee populations (average age between 30 and 34) but quickly become priority #1 or #2 according to employers with an older average age workforce.

Job security and retirement and savings plans are also considered higher priority as the average age of employees increases, while employers with younger populations tend to place more emphasis on opportunities for advancement.

Do employees have the full retirement picture and are they taking advantage of all available resources?

While 85% of employers believe they provide the right resources for their employees to be retirement ready, only 33% of employers with an older workforce (average employee age 50-54) agree that their employees know how to properly manage their savings.

While 47% of employers believe their employees are able to retire when they want, results of PwC's 2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey show that 42% of employees are postponing their retirement.


About the survey: The survey was completed in the first quarter of 2018. The survey data contains detailed benefits information provided by over 900 participating employers in 37 industries across the U.S. Our report surveys the current landscape and future outlook for employee total rewards and compensation as employers vie for talent.

Contact us

Greg Mansur

Principal, PwC US

Barbara Gniewek

Principal, Health and Welfare Practice Leader, PwC US

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