Posted January 30, 2017
With the start of 2017, many employers have introduced new employee health benefits. However, some employers roll them out mid-year. If you’re researching options for employee benefits, consider these trends as featured in U.S. News and World Report:
1. Expand physical wellness to overall well-being – For years, workplace wellness programs have encouraged employees to set health goals, eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly. But is it working?
- The fact is, wellness programs alone may not help employees make permanent lifestyle changes.
- So instead, employers are focusing on five areas of well-being to help employees address personal and family needs. Watch this video to learn the value of well-being in the workplace.
- Employers also are switching to fun team activities to encourage employees to work together to make healthy choices.
2. Help employees to understand their benefits – As the cost of health insurance benefits increases, employers are switching to high-deductible plans. They also are offering telemedicine tools, such as video or phone chats with medical professionals, to assist with basic health care needs like strep throat, ear infections, pink eye or sinusitis.
- Employers know it’s important to explain new plan options so employees can make informed decisions regarding the care they need.
- Through partnerships with brokers, insurance companies and communications experts, employers are educating employees about benefits using a mix of tools, such as podcasts, personalized videos, live chats, employee meetings, emails and e-newsletters.
Learn 4 ways to get the most from your health benefits.
3. Provide choices with additional voluntary benefits – Employees want to tailor coverage to meet their needs, making business-as-usual health benefits obsolete.
- While high-deductible health plans keep premiums more affordable, employees want access to other voluntary health benefits to help with preventive care, including dental, vision and hearing plans.
- Other popular voluntary options include coverage for accidents, critical illnesses, pets and legal assistance.
- Offer a student loan repayment benefit. This new benefit is quickly becoming popular with employers and employees. With more than 40 million people carrying student load debt, this benefit offers a solution to help ease employees’ financial burdens. It also helps employers recruit and retain talented employees. Check out Ameritas’ student loan repayment plan options and find out what works for you.
4. Offer work flexibility – Employees appreciate flexible work arrangements and schedules so they can juggle personal, family and work responsibilities.
- In a recent survey, nearly 35 percent of employees reported wanting flexible work schedules, and over 46 percent said flexibility is extremely important in any job.
- In addition, the Society for Human Resource Management reports an increase in the number of employers offering work-from-home options. These employers also are providing an allowance so employees can purchase their preferred style of smartphone or computer.
Health benefits can enhance employee recruitment and retention. Read this blog to learn more.