What Fast-Growing Benefits Should HR Consider for 2021?
After a year full of changes for employers and their workforces worldwide, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to a few key benefits for 2021. Employees’ lives look a lot different this year—including virtual doctor visits and working from home—and their priorities when it comes to benefits look different too. Read on for four fast-growing benefits that employers should consider adding for 2021.
4 Fast-Growing Benefits for Employers to Consider for 2021
After all of the changes during this year, HR should keep the these fast-growing benefits in mind:
- Mental Health Support: Considering the stressful events that have taken place during 2020—a once-in-a-century pandemic and record unemployment, for example—mental health services and employee assistance programs (EAPs) are extremely important for employees. An EAP helps workers with personal or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, and mental and emotional wellbeing. They also generally offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees. Check your insurance carrier policy to see if an EAP is included in your disability policy. If your company’s policy already includes an EAP, be sure that your employees are aware that they have access to these services.
- Telehealth Benefits: According to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), private insurers reported that telehealth claims increased over 4,000% from the previous year after the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in mid-March. Patients were able to access their doctor from the comfort of their own home for things like a sore throat or mental health visit, without risking exposure at the doctor’s office. According to the CDC, “recent policy changes during the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced barriers to telehealth access and have promoted the use of telehealth as a way to deliver acute, chronic, primary, and specialty care.” However, news has come out that insurance companies are pulling back on telehealth coverage as financial pressure mounts, especially for visits not related to COVID-19, despite its popularity and rising cases across the country.
- Pet Insurance: Pet insurance policies vary from comprehensive coverage, which includes accidents and illnesses, to accident-only or wellness-only coverage. Employers can also offer employees voluntary pet benefits through veterinary discount and savings cards that pet owners can use at vet visits. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, close to 2.82 million pets were insured at the end of 2019 and pet health insurance has been increasing at an average annual growth rate of 22.1% over the past 5 years. With people spending more time at home, adopting a pet has been more feasible for full-time employees who are now working remotely. While people are adding furry companions as an important part of their family, employers might want to consider offering traditional pet insurance or a pet wellness discount program as a benefit for 2021.
- Identity Theft Protection: Identity theft occurs when a bad actor obtains someone’s personal information to use for criminal activity. Identity theft insurance is used to protect people against identity theft with services like credit monitoring. Identity theft insurance also helps with financial costs associated with recovering identity, like legal fees, and restoring a credit report. According to research by Willis Towers Watson, 36% of employers offered identity theft protection as a voluntary benefit in 2018, and 63% plan on offering it by 2021. With so much of employees’ information being stored and accessed online, offering ID protection provides peace of mind for your team—and potentially an extra layer of protection for your company.
2020 has been anything but predictable and trying to forecast the approaching new year is impossible. However, it’s important to carefully consider growing industry trends and anticipate employees’ needs by offering benefits that will best support them.
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