Employers Approaching Worksite Benefit Options Differently After Year of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic brought its own challenges – and opportunities – to the worksite benefits space. Looking back on 2020, we’ve seen some interesting trends emerge for employers who want to improve their benefits in response to employees’ changing needs and requests.
Worksite Benefit Trends That Have Emerged From COVID-19
1. Increased need for employee engagement and communication
More employers turned to technology to deliver benefits enrollment solutions, but the human touch was still important to employees – maybe more than ever. M3’s enrollment partners noted a significant increase in the number of clients utilizing 1:1 benefit counselors by phone, allowing employees to talk through their benefits needs and questions with a real, live (non-commissioned) expert. This telephonic approach allowed flexibility for benefits enrollment conversations to take place outside of normal work hours, and to include spouses or other decision makers in the conversation. Similar to the uptick in telemedicine utilization, we expect this trend to continue.
2. More employers adding Hospital Indemnity coverage
Employees were more aware of the risk of hospitalization in 2020 than in previous years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. M3 saw an increased number of employers adding hospital indemnity to their mix of worksite products alongside the more traditional accident and critical illness options.
3. Pandemic puppies phenomenon
Employers added pet insurance to their benefits portfolios at a higher rate over the past year. With substantially more time at home, many employees took the opportunity to bring home a new companion, and with them the responsibilities of being a pet parent. Helping employees address these new financial obligations is important, but we have to admit: the best part of adding pet insurance is when we get to see the names of employees’ pets!
4. Uptick in cyber security concerns and identity theft offerings
You’re not the only one spending more time online. Cyber criminals are too, with new scams and techniques emerging all the time. Unemployment fraud seemed to be a particular vulnerability in 2020. Identity theft protection helps employees monitor their credit, the dark web, and more for potential breaches – and when a breach occurs, these vendors step in to help with financial and legal remediation.
Worksite benefits are gaining traction with employers after a year of COVID-19. Employees’ concerns and needs have changed, and forward-thinking employers are adjusting their benefits packages to offer worksite benefits that employees are likely to engage with, and may serve as a talent and retention tool for years to come. Reach out to your M3 account executive if you are interested in exploring worksite benefits for your organization.