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DNA and the Iowa Employer

2012 Iowa Employer Benefits StudyDNA provides us with amazing information.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary genetics in humans and almost all other organisms. In other words, DNA contains the biological instructions that make each species unique from one another. Different, uncommon, unusual – I think you get the point.

In a certain way, that is how I view the findings in the Iowa Employer Benefits Study©. Each organization exudes a unique DNA like no other organization. The DNA found in each organization derives from the following influences:

  • “Culture” of employer
  • “Industry” in which the employer operates
  • “Location” or “Community” where the employer resides
  • “Size” of employer – specifically the number of employees
  • “Type of organization” – private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, etc
  • “Bargained or non-bargained” employees

When we sampled Iowa employers this year, instead of obtaining vials of blood, we asked a number of key questions that would help us better understand the employee benefits offered by each organization. From this data, we were able to map out the tendencies that are embedded within each organization, whether a result of employer size, industry, location or type of organization. This information becomes the DNA of Iowa organizations.

As mentioned in my last blog, we surveyed 1,206 Iowa employers in our 2012 Study, an all-time record high for us (the previous high was 985 in 2010). The number of respondents from each key Iowa industry are as follows:

  1. Manufacturing – 209 respondents
  2. Retail – 218 respondents
  3. Finance – 146 respondents
  4. Health and Social Services – 219 respondents
  5. Government and Public Education – 200
  6. All Other Industries – 214

Of course, we also look at sub-industries within each of the key industries to search for “DNA clues” on employee benefit tendencies. Some of the DNA observed from this study includes:

  • Colleges and Hospitals are tied with offering Dental coverage most frequently (94 percent), while only 26 percent of employers in the Construction industry offer this benefit.
  • Wholesale sector employers reported having the highest family health plan deductible ($3,661), while Colleges reported having the lowest ($1,707).
  • Large employers (250+ employees) are three times more likely to offer consumer-driven health plans than their smaller counterparts.
  • 401K plans are offered by 55 percent of Iowa organizations, with the Insurance sector offering this retirement plan more often (88 percent), while Non-profits are least likely to offer these plans (21 percent).
  • 27 percent of Iowa organizations offer Flextime, with the Insurance sector leading the offering at 76 percent. Construction lags on offering this benefit (8 percent).
  • Urban employers reported higher health premium increases than their Rural counterparts. (This is a tease for you to check back with us to learn just how much the rates have increased in 2012!)

During the next week, we will be releasing the key results of the 14th annual Iowa Employer Benefits Study©. In addition to the Press Release, we will have the results of the Overall Study available at this website. In early November, we will publish results from the following industries: Manufacturing, Retail, Finance, Health Services and Public sector.

Many thanks to those 1,206 Iowa employers “who gave blood” this year!

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