As both an election year and the start of a new decade, 2020 brings high stakes, high expectations, and plenty of predictions in the employee benefits space. Your benefits strategy this year needs to consider the goals your clients are attempting to achieve, the actual needs of employees, and what’s possible with the current market.
With that in mind, here are five factors you should prioritize in your 2020 benefits strategy.
1. Increased Virtual Care Solutions
The major telehealth providers are continuing to push new services and expand their offerings. Beyond acute care, there are virtual solutions for mental health, second opinions, back care, men’s and women’s health, dermatology, and more. Most employers want to reduce healthcare spending and improve productivity, and most employees want convenient, affordable access to care. Consider which virtual solutions meet your clients’ needs as an alternative to traditional, more expensive methods of care.
2. Push for Healthcare Simplification and Transparency
Healthcare is expensive and complicated. Not a mind-blowing statement, but still something we struggle with after years of recognizing it as a major problem. The cost of care is an especially turbulent issue, with research, interviews, and legislation about surprise medical bills and transparency between providers and insurers taking over headlines. While we have very little control over the political end, there are other solutions to drive consumerism in healthcare. Health advocacy and price transparency tools help employees take advantage of their benefits and reduce healthcare spending — a win-win for businesses.
3. Personalization Means Getting Personal
Benefit personalization shouldn’t just be about generational stereotypes (a.k.a. “I have millennials, so I should provide student loan repayment”); it should address the human needs of employees. Everyone is dealing with something in their lives, whether it’s a minor frustration or worry, or it’s a major struggle with depression, debt, infertility, or a dying parent. Providing personal services - counseling, fertility treatment, caregiver support - show employees their employer cares and will take care of them. In turn, this improves productivity, morale, loyalty, and recruiting efforts.
4. Value Increases with Communication and Education
Benefits are an effective platform to show employees how valued they are, but only if they’re being utilized. If benefits are only communicated at open enrollment, and even then only at a high level, employees are less likely to remember what they have when it comes time to use a benefit. Engaging employees with their benefits through education and timely communication is essential to bringing out the most value. Determine which platforms are most effective for your clients, whether it’s email, an internal website, or even flyers posted in the breakroom. Then use that platform to share the why, when, and how for each benefit — why it’s valuable for the employee, when it’s best to use it, and how they can access it.
5. Mental Health is in Crisis
Employers can no longer afford to ignore the mental health crisis. According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2020 Global Medical Trends Survey, mental health conditions are now the third most costly medical condition. Around 30% of employees suffer from severe stress, anxiety, or depression, and nearly two-thirds never seek help from a health professional. Employees spend more than a third of their waking hours at work, giving employers a critical and influential role in their lives. Addressing this crisis in the workplace has become a necessity. To mitigate loss of productivity and improve employee health, employers need to provide access to mental health resources, whether through an EAP, insurance coverage, or virtual counseling.
Bring up these discussion points with your clients this year and offer solutions that meet their goals and improve the lives of employees. If you’re looking for solutions, New Benefits aggregates sought-after non-insured benefits so you can get the products your clients need under one roof. Talk to one of our benefits pros to get started.