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Sana Announces Results of 2021 State of Employer Health Insurance Report

  • Findings quantify the detrimental effects of high costs on SMBs; 54% of those surveyed are unsatisfied with their health insurance plans
  • 41% of respondents indicated their health insurance rates had increased 5 to 10% over the past year
  • Demand is increasing for mental health (including virtual mental health) to be a part of the employer benefits package

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sana, a health care company that provides Fortune 500-level health benefits to small businesses at affordable prices, has announced the release of its 2021 State of Employer Health Insurance Report, a survey of health insurance decision-makers at small and medium businesses. The inaugural Sana survey engaged over 1,000 health insurance decision-makers at small and medium sized businesses.

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Designed to address challenges these decision-makers face when managing employee insurance plans, the survey found that many employers have incorrect assumptions about health insurance processes. Many are also unsatisfied with their current course of action for their employees’ health insurance benefits.

These survey results set a benchmark for industry trends and help employers and employees understand how their health care costs stack up to national norms. Key findings include:

  • 87% of health care decision-makers think they are locked into their health insurance contract when it is very rarely the case. If a business is unhappy with its insurance company, it can switch to a new one at any time. The monopolistic nature of health insurance, being dominated by 1-2 companies in any given state, is likely why small businesses don’t switch even when their rates keep increasing year over year.
  • 40% of individuals surveyed haven’t switched health insurance carriers in over five years. If small businesses aren’t at least looking around for other options, they are likely leaving money on the table.
  • Employees want better mental health benefits. Mental health benefits are taking up a small percentage of health care spending and lag behind dental and vision. Still, the demand is increasing for mental health (including virtual mental health) to be a part of the employer benefits package.

“Small businesses are seeing more and more of their operating budgets depleted by the rising cost of health care,” said Will Young, CEO and co-founder of Sana. “Between industry jargon, misleading myths, and a lack of transparency, it can be difficult to navigate the world of health insurance and employee benefits. We wanted to conduct a survey to better understand the challenges businesses face when it comes to providing health care to the 50% of Americans that depend on their employer health plans.”

To access the full 2021 State of Employer Health Insurance Report, click here.

About Sana

Sana provides small businesses with Fortune 500-level health care at prices they can afford. Through value-based care, the Sana Care ecosystem of world-class providers, direct primary care, and more, Sana is reducing the cost of high-quality care. Sana is making it easier than ever to administer benefits for employers and offers simplified health plans and top-notch customer service to employees. Sana is providing a total health care solution to small businesses that drives down costs while simultaneously delivering an exceptional quality of care.


Sarah Armstrong


DirectlyApply Reveals Work Benefits Job-seekers Want Most in the Post-Covid Era

  • 17.5% of job seekers surveyed chose health insurance as their top benefit
  • DirectlyApply surveyed 6,000 job seekers in the two weeks to 11 July 2021
  • Fewer than 1% want free gym membership
  • More women opted for working from home, flexible working and childcare
  • More men chose equal shared parental leave

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#jobsearch–Workers are in high demand in the USA, with 9.2 million active job openings recorded at the end of May by the Labor Department. Within this landscape, employers are trying to attract candidates with benefits such as signing bonuses and free gym membership.

However, according to original research by job site DirectlyApply, job seekers looking for their next position are less interested in such perks, and instead want healthcare, dental cover, paid vacations and other “fundamental benefits” in the post-Covid era.

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DirectlyApply asked 6,000 job seekers to choose what they wanted most in a post-pandemic America from a list of 11 potential job benefits. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the impact of Covid, the results revealed that health insurance was the winning benefit with 17.5% of the vote.

Next most-popular was paid vacations (15.7%), and dental insurance came a close third at 15%. 401K pension coverage was the fourth most popular with 14%, while vision insurance came in fifth place with 11.9%, and life insurance came sixth with 10.4% of the votes.

At the opposite end of the scale, “softer” benefits were apparently low down on the priority lists of those surveyed during the first two weeks of July 2021. Fewer than 1% opted for free gym membership as their top benefit, while just 2.2% prioritised a signing bonus.

Just 0.5% of respondents chose equal parental leave as their preferred benefit, despite the shift to working from home and the childcare and homeschooling problems caused by the pandemic.

Similarly, only 2.9% of respondents chose childcare, and 3.1% opted for working from home as the benefit they would look for most in a potential workplace. Meanwhile, flexible working hours were the most attractive workplace benefit for just 6.2% of respondents.

There were slight variations in what male and female job seekers wanted most across the USA, with more women choosing working from home, flexible working and childcare than men. By contrast, more men than women opted for equal parental leave.

“In the post-Covid era job seekers are really most attracted to jobs offering fundamental benefits, like healthcare,” said Dylan Buckley, co-founder of DirectlyApply.

“Employers are offering ‘softer’ benefits, such as gym memberships or discounts, but the job applicants we surveyed were only marginally interested in those things.

“Even benefits we’d have expected job seekers to have a greater appetite for as a result of the pandemic, such as childcare, flexible working or equal parental leave, were far outweighed by healthcare, paid vacation and dental care.”

Ends –

Notes to editors

About DirectlyApply

DirectlyApply is the job discovery platform aiming to ensure that anyone can find the job they want. It lets job seekers match their interests and abilities to thousands of roles from great companies that are currently hiring, and offers them powerful tools to help with their search, including a free resumé builder, diversity & inclusion checker and job application tracker. Founded in 2018, DirectlyApply is levelling the playing field. It is the world’s only search engine for jobs you can apply to directly.


Abigail Shiers

Sonder London



More Employers Opt Out of Traditional Group Health Plans

Cost-Controlling ICHRAs and Tools for Deploying Them Change the Benefits Game


DALTON, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the face of rising health care costs, more employers in Georgia are moving away from offering group health insurance plans and are saving up to 15% in the process. Contributing to this trend is the introduction of Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs), a new type of health reimbursement arrangement that helps control employee health care costs and offers more flexibility.

ICHRAs (pronounced IK-rahs) became available in January 2020 through changes in IRS regulations that allow employers subject to Affordable Care Act requirements to reimburse employees tax-free dollars for the health plans of their choosing. A recent study found that 15% of surveyed employers concerned about budget constraints intend to adopt ICHRAs in 2022 and beyond1.

A second major driver behind the trend is new tools and technology that are easing the transition to this new health care solution. Digital platforms such as HRASimple reduce the administrative burdens of managing a group health plan and assist companies in executing an ICHRA.

“We were spending more and more each year on group health insurance for our employees… and managing the budget for this benefit was becoming more of a hassle than a benefit,” says Julie Soekoro, CFO of Hamilton Health Care System in Dalton, GA. “HRASimple eliminated the angst of annual renewal increases… and stabilized my budget… on top of saving our organization over 7 million dollars in 2021, which saved a lot of jobs during the pandemic. For our organization, it was a genuine win-win for all involved.”

About HRASimple

HRASimple is an ICHRA administrator with a powerful web-based platform that reduces the in-house burdens of managing a group health plan. HRASimple was one of the first in the nation to administer an ICHRA for an employer with more than 2,000 employees. HRASimple is a HealthOne Alliance, LLC company. HealthOne Alliance is a founding member of the HRA Council (HRACouncil.org).

1 Willis Towers Watson. “Employers Express Interest in Individual Coverage Reimbursement Arrangements.”


Tom Pitcherella