Employee Benefits

4 Benefits for Essential Workers

A young female doctor tying her mask and preparing for surgery.

Millions of employees were impacted by the pandemic. It especially affected people considered essential workers. These key workers in health care, education and municipalities, worked tirelessly to serve their communities. That’s why essential workers appreciate employer-sponsored benefits. Employers know benefits help keep employees healthy, which impacts their productivity and work success. Employers should consider offering these four benefits for essential workers to show appreciation for their dedication and service.

  1. Medical

    Most companies sponsor benefits for employees. But not all workers qualify for the plans. Or they may not be able to afford the coverage. Essential employees hold positions at all levels of a company. Employers should offer a range of affordable coverage options to meet their needs.

    Most employees value the security health insurance provides to handle unexpected medical costs. But health coverage does more than cover medical bills. It provides access to preventive screenings, which can help find signs of health problems. Some of these signs could be early indicators of more serious medical conditions. If potential health problems are caught early, treatment may be less costly and invasive.

  1. Dental and vision

    Medical insurance may be the top benefit employees want. But it’s dental and vision coverage they especially value and use the most. Essential workers need healthy teeth and eyes to be at their best, so they consider dental and vision insurance essential benefits.

    Essential workers know it’s important to brush and floss their teeth daily, and schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleanings. As they age, they appreciate the preventive care included with their insurance plans. And they value insurance benefits to help cover the cost for fillings, crowns, root canals and bridges: procedures that can be expensive.

    Workers also want vision insurance to help them maintain healthy eyes. These plans typically include coverage for preventive eye exams. The eye doctor will check for vision correction needs, such as an updated prescription for eyeglasses or contacts, and check the health of the eyes. However, as employees age, they have a greater appreciation for the comprehensive review of their vision during the exam. By looking closely at eye tissue, eye doctors can detect signs of eye issues or disease, including macular degeneration, dry eye, glaucoma or cataracts.

    If employers cannot provide dental and vision insurance benefits, they can help employees access individual dental and vision coverage online through a dependable insurance carrier. Individual plans typically cover preventive checkups and exams. And they assist with the cost of unexpected dental and vision health expenses. Many individual vision plans include benefits for materials such as eyeglasses or contacts.

  1. Student loan repayment

    Student loan repayment assistance is a benefit in high demand by employees in every industry. It’s especially desired by essential workers who have given up much to serve their communities. Many of these workers have pursued extra education and training at their expense. They want to improve their professional expertise to serve people better. However, the burden of student loan debt can be overwhelming. It’s a primary reason why many essential workers look for employers who provide a student loan repayment benefit to help them pay off their loans.

    A student loan repayment benefit helps ease essential workers’ financial burdens. Workers say that if their loan payments were reduced by $150 a month, 84% would save the money for an emergency, a house, retirement, or a child’s college education.

    Essential workers who receive a student loan repayment benefit appreciate their employers’ investment. They tend to be happier, more satisfied with their job, and more positive about their employer.

  1. Child and senior care

    About 41 million Americans are unpaid caregivers for senior relatives. Of this group, about 10 million are millennials. Nearly half of them also are caring for children under age 18.

    Research shows that 57% of business leaders prioritize benefits that help employees blend work and life responsibilities. About 41% of employers surveyed plan to offer or expand senior care benefits to employees. These benefits assist employees with financial and professional services to help employees take care of their children, parents and senior relatives. Employers also should provide flexible time off so employees can balance work needs with family care requirements.

Harvard Business Review
Homethrive Inc.