COVID-19 and Employee Benefits
Given the events that occurred in 2020, it may seem impossible to predict anything for the upcoming year. However, experts from SHRM, Mercer and Employee Benefits Advisor all agree that three main employee benefits trends will be focused on 2021 amid expected healthcare cost increases.
Benefit Trends to Watch For
Living through the COVID-19 pandemic and everything else 2020 has thrown our way has been challenging and stressful, but the resulting trends and innovation is proving to be positive. Listed below are three main trends you can expect to see in 2021.
A Focus Mental Health
2020 has put a strain on everyone’s mental health in one way or another, leading to a surge in mental health awareness. According to the CDC, the rates of stress, anxiety and depression have risen substantially compared to 2019. Luckily, reports are showing that wherever employers can contribute to reducing workplace stress, they are looking to do so in 2021. Organizations large and small are realizing that after this year, comprehensive mental health coverage is something they can’t afford to leave out of their benefits packages.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more individuals have leveraged telehealth benefits to receive acute, chronic, primary and even specialty care. The original benefit of using telemedicine during the pandemic was that it allowed individuals to receive necessary healthcare services, while decreasing the risk of spreading COVID-19. Increased use has proven that telemedicine is also convenient and flexible, allowing more employees to prioritize their health. Long commutes and time spent in waiting rooms is saved, and those in rural or remote locations are able to be “seen” as well. For these reasons, experts are predicting the expansion of telehealth benefits in 2021.
SHRM explains that personalized and customizable benefits packages are continuing to grow in popularity. Many employers are now managing five different generations in the workforce. Each generation group, and each individual in each generation, has unique priorities and needs when it comes to employee benefits. By allowing employees to create a benefits package that works best for them, you can be assured they will have the highest levels of security and well-being. To stand out against the competition, some organizations are planning on offering non-medical benefits for employees to choose, such as pet insurance, legal services, life insurance, and more.