Nine in 10 (92 per cent) U.S. employees say they need additional financial resources in their employer-sponsored benefits plan, up from 79 per cent in 2022, according to a new survey by BCHR Holdings and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

The survey, which polled more than 250 employers and roughly 700 employees, found one in three employees said they want additional financial support for medical expenses (up from 23 per cent in 2022) and 56 per cent said inflation or rising costs will negatively impact their ability to pay for health care.

More than half (58 per cent) of employees said they live paycheque to paycheque and 55 per cent said their financial situation had either remained the same or worsened compared to a year ago.

Read: 55% of Canadian workers say employer-sponsored health benefits don’t meet their needs: survey

Nearly three-quarter (72 per cent) of employers said they’re likely to address employee financial well-being in 2024. The survey noted financial well-being needs vary by life stage and demographics, with generation Z prioritizing emergency savings and money management, millennials prioritizing childcare and pregnancy/fertility support, generation X valuing long-term care and musculoskeletal care and baby boomers seeking more support with medical bills and managing chronic conditions.

Six in 10 (61 per cent) employers said they plan to expand voluntary benefits and 84 per cent said these benefits are key to their well-being strategy. According to the survey, long-term care was the No. 1 fastest-growing voluntary benefit, followed by emergency savings, care-giving, financial coaching, critical illness and cancer support and savings.

“The survey results highlight the urgent need for employers to provide additional financial resources to support to their employees, as well as benefits communications to increase awareness of available programs,” said Ruth Hunt, a principal in the communication practice at Gallagher and the report’s co-author, in a press release. “Fifty-five per cent of employees wish they had a better understanding of their benefits, particularly younger employees. Addressing this communications gap will also help organizations improve the overall well-being of their workforce and enhance employee satisfaction.”

Read: 40% of U.S. workers with employer-provided health benefits delayed care due to costs: survey