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Market Outlook for Employee Benefits

Our world has been upended in the last two years. Businesses and employees have had to adapt to unprecedented changes and uncertainty. Covid-19 has created new norms, new rhythms of business, and new expectations from employees. Employers who can think creatively about how they can accommodate employee desires while also controlling costs are well-positioned for future growth and stability.


Hiring is difficult. The available labor pool is small and there is a large number of job openings. Employers can differentiate themselves by rethinking their approach to benefits and employee engagement. Money isn’t the only factor. Flexible scheduling, mental health resources, and growth opportunities all top the list for sought-after benefits of job seekers. And while benefits may get them on the payroll, employees are looking for a company culture that demonstrates how much they care about their workers. Now more than ever, people are looking for a career that aligns with their priorities. Talk with employees regularly to ensure they are feeling connected and engaged.


Telemedicine uses technology to connect a physician with a patient and has exploded in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The use of telemedicine isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. While telemedicine isn’t a good fit for all situations, it does provide patients greater flexibility and savings compared to in-person visits. Plus, the convenience encourages employees to see their doctor more frequently which helps to maintain overall health. Most health plans include telemedicine benefits.


Many employers are finding ways to better support the mental health of their staff. Reducing the office visit copay for mental health services is a great way to do so. A lower copay encourages better usage by removing a cost barrier. Another tool is Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). EAPs can be purchased as a stand-alone benefit and they are also often included as a value-add service with disability plans. An EAP provides a confidential source that employees can use to find support and resources for challenges they face. EAPs often include mental health counseling, caregiver support, family services, and financial wellness services.



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