Is COVID-19 changing dynamics of Employee Benefits Scape?

Location: San Jose, CA
Date: 2020-10-13

Previously when someone said ‘employee benefits’, a lot of us would think about a flexible work environment with loads of free food. But now the focus has shifted to more important areas of the benefits arena. I’m sure everybody must have guessed it right. Yes, it is medical and healthcare benefits. When the virus first made its appearance, it left everybody flabbergasted. Something that has symptoms of the normal flu is leading to people dying, leading to a situation where people were extremely confused, and not to mention panic-stricken. On top of which job security was nowhere to be found.

In such stormy weather, the workforce realized that the best benefits their employers could offer are healthcare benefits, whereas, the benefits that were being given were nowhere close to what they desired. Employers are aware of what their staff is looking for. But is that being taken into consideration when designing a benefits plan? 92% of the employers said that lowering out of pocket costs on Rx is very or somewhat important to their employees, but 66% of them do not even have regular contact with a pharmacy practice specialist, according to a recent survey by Scripta

This demonstrates the gap between employee priorities and employer offerings.

Technology today is the light in the tunnel, not just at the end of it.

A wide array of high-tech products and solutions to choose from and apply within organizations is not only possible but also essential.

Canadian life insurance provider, Empire Life Insurance, realized the significance of tech and incorporated telemedicine in its product suite, making the solution available to several globally mobile employees. Social distancing now won’t keep remote employees away from doctors. They will all be able to consult a doctor any time of the day or night, simply from their mobile phones! This move shows how benefits providers are playing their cards right keeping the current climate in mind. This product not only ensures safety but also remote management of care, which is highly significant in today’s date.
Metlife conducted a survey in the midst of the pandemic and found out that 2 in 3 employees state they are feeling more stressed than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 73% of the employers said reducing employee stress was a key objective for 2020 .

Accolade, a personalized health, and benefits solution for employers introduced a new solution that integrates physical and mental healthcare for enhanced employee health benefits and reduced cost of healthcare. This solution offers a variety of health-related facets such as virtual therapy, on-demand mental coaching, as well as digital psychiatry all under a single umbrella. It leverages intelligence and data to identify employees prone to mental risks and proactively outreaches to them. Equipping ill-equipped employers with such a solution will result in a higher retention rate and amplified work productivity.

Talking of productivity, what makes employees want to wallow in their work and deliver optimized results? The freedom to choose and decide for themselves. A person who hates dancing is being given coupons for free dance class, will not necessarily be ecstatic about it. Flimp Communications happened to realize that and rolled out a new tool, called BENEFITchoice. BENEFITchoice is a benefits assessment tool that enables employees to educate themselves about the benefits out there and make the best-fit choice for themselves. The tool is a sister product to another solution PLANselect, that aids employees in selecting the right medical plan according to their needs and requirements.

The efforts and innovations of the hrtech contributors are not going unnoticed. But harnessing these products is a choice that employers have to make. Now is the time to fill that gap between employer offerings and employee priorities.

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