Over the last few years, changes in healthcare industry policies and consumer preferences have resulted in significant shifts in plan design and employee benefit preferences. Employers who understand these changes will be better equipped to create benefit plans that align with their employee’s needs and attract the best talent. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the latest trends in benefit plan design that you should consider as you prepare for the upcoming enrollment season.
The rising demand for Telehealth
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become a popular alternative to in-person doctor visits. Telehealth allows patients to consult with healthcare providers remotely, which provides a significant convenience factor for employees, especially those who live in more rural areas. Employers should be aware that telehealth services are now being integrated into benefit plans and health insurance coverages, and they should consider adding this feature to their employee’s benefit plans. This trend is expected to continue gaining momentum throughout the coming years.
Employees Prefer More Personalized Plan Designs
Gone are the days when one-size-fits-all benefit plans were considered acceptable by employees. Today, employees want more personalized plan options tailored to their individual needs, priorities, and lifestyles. Employers should analyze the data from their employees’ prior year claims to offer employees better care plans and additional services that target their specific well-being needs. Personalized plan designs can help employers differentiate themselves from their competitors and improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.
Flexible Work Schedule options
Flexibility with work hours and location due to the pandemic has given rise to more employees working remotely. Studies have shown that employee’s job satisfaction and retention rates are higher when they have a flexible schedule. As such, most employers would benefit from offering their employees flexible working arrangements. Employers should consider flexible working benefits like child care services, overtime policies, and the option to work remotely when designing benefit plans. Flexible working arrangements may also help to manage stress and improve employees’ mental well-being.
Increased Focus on Mental Health Services
Employers are paying attention to the emotional well-being of their employees, with a particular focus on mental health. Employers can encourage stress management and mental health support by including more comprehensive mental health coverage options in their benefits plans. Employers who offer mental health consultations, counseling, therapy sessions, or counseling sessions via telehealth, help employees maintain their well-being, improve productivity, and promote a healthy work-life balance. This trend is expected to continue throughout the coming years.
Better Wellness Program participation
Employee well-being initiatives have gained immense prominence, especially as it can ultimately translate to cost savings for employers. Employers may achieve optimal health benefits by offering wellness programs with a range of activities or a comprehensive wellness portal. By using new trends in personalized and digital health management tools, employers can motivate employees to participate in making better lifestyle and wellness changes and possibly control healthcare costs and absenteeism related to sick days.
Preparing for Open Enrollment
As the workforce evolves, employers must consider their employee’s needs and priorities when designing benefit plans for the upcoming enrollment season. The plan trends outlined above help employers understand the changing employee benefit landscape, with the aim of designing comprehensive benefits packages that attract and retain the best talent. Keeping up with the latest trends in benefit plan design is an essential element of engaging talent in the competitive job market. By offering more flexible benefits that include customized wellness initiatives, telemedicine services, more personalized care plans, mental health care resources, a range of work arrangements- from remote to flexible hours- you can distinguish yourself as a top employer in your industry.