COVID-19 Could Change Benefit Plans For Good

Companies are Likely to See Some Permanent Changes

You may be surprised to hear that salary isn’t the most important aspect when it comes to finding a job. Employee benefits programs are just as important and are great for recruiting and retention. Yet, a great benefits package in 2021 is very different from what was considered good 20 years ago. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses for over a year now, many employers have realized that the benefit plans they offer need to adapt with the times to compete for and keep the best talent.

Let’s look into some trends to keep an eye on in the next couple of years.

Changing Health Plans

As reported by The Society of Human Resource Management, health insurance premiums have grown by 54% over the last 10 years, yet employees have taken most of the brunt from this bearing the cost of around 70% of the increase in premiums. With COVID-19 being as disruptive as it has been to the employment landscape, income, and businesses, it is safe to assume employees and employers alike cannot afford the cost of rising premiums this year.

How to Reduce Costs

How can the cost of healthcare be reduced? One method is by directly contracting with service providers as opposed to going through an intermediary. Establishing an on-site primary care clinic could make economic sense for a large employer and provide convenience to the employees. It could also increase productivity with employees no longer having to leave the office to travel to their provider.

The pandemic put telehealth on many of our radars. For the past year, we’ve been forced to utilize telehealth for everything from routine exams to specialized care. There might have been a learning curve associated with it, and of course, it’s not the same as meeting face to face with a healthcare provider. Now that we have grown accustomed to it, most might concede that it is far more convenient and efficient. While COVID numbers decrease, telehealth will not.

Another trend we have been seeing is that employers have come to realize that allowing employees customize their benefits can reduce costs. It also adds the intrinsic benefit of the employee feeling well taken care of, which can lead to higher retention. An example of this is that an employer might offer their employees a basic benefits plan, and with this, the employees can add on optional benefits that suit their specific needs.

Mental health has already been a huge issue in this country, but with all of the stress, challenges, and losses associated with COVID-19 it is now more of an issue than ever. The impact of the pandemic on society’s collective mental health isn’t going to go away once things go back to “normal.” Employers must do their part in reducing employee stress if they want to help their bottom line.

To discuss your current financial situation, talk with one of the financial professionals here at NEST Financial. Contact us to set up a no-commitment introductory meeting.

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