One of the many great reminders of 2020 is that no matter how hard we try, we cannot predict what the future holds. Our priorities have shifted considerably due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many of those priorities are in direct correlation to our health and our careers.
Employers in the public sector have had a front seat to change, from watching teachers take on virtual classrooms to major disruptions in essential public services. Although the health and safety of your employees is always at the forefront, the trends in employee benefits have shifted with our priorities. More or better support is needed to not only help you retain top talent but to help your employees maintain excellence in the workplace.
As a new year approaches and you sit down to review your employee benefits action plan for 2021, there are many things to consider including these five important program options.
COVID-19 has changed medical routines, but one of the biggest trends that gained significant momentum in 2020 that will surely continue in 2021 is telehealth or virtual care. Whether it’s with your primary care physician or a specialist, seeing providers remotely has become routine. Of course, annual physical exams and necessary in-person visits will still occur as needed, but the fundamentals of patient care have changed forever as technology, convenience, and personal safety become more preeminent.
Having a plan that features more robust telehealth and virtual care platforms can be a key advantage for your employees. As this technology continues to develop, you’ll see providers continuing to up their virtual care game, meeting patient’s needs in creative and efficient ways.
Wellness is no longer just a feel-good buzz word describing recognition of an employee’s health-minded efforts. With only a few ways to truly affect the cost of medical care for employers, wellness is now an essential program to help employers help employees and their families live healthier, happier lives. The investment in wellness is essential to aid employees in making proactive, sustainable healthier lifestyle decisions. The key point being, to address issues before they escalate by improving several factors known to cause preventable disease.
By proving the tools necessary, and correctly engaging your population, both employees and employers gain in the long run. Lower premiums and reduced out of pocket costs are important goals for everyone in 2021.
Comprehensive care for employees and their families must also include behavioral health. Our social patterns and support systems have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. We’re much more isolated, which is why depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are more prevalent than ever. Employers need to consider this important factor when addressing benefits for 2021. Work with your benefits team to ensure that effective and affordable behavioral health options are included in your plan for the coming year.
Almost every company, large and small, has found that working remotely is an important part of getting business done during the pandemic. Adapting sound work from home policies that foster productivity can be the difference between success or failure for an organization. This fundamental shift in our workplace will continue in 2021 and beyond, regardless of what happens with the pandemic.
Working remotely brings forth challenges—and opportunities—for employees and their benefits providers. Your benefits consultant can work with you to fuel innovation that keeps your employees safe and productive.
Your Employee Benefits Solutions Partner
At Valley Schools, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the benefits you provide your employees. One way is to stay ahead of trends in our industry that literally affect the health and wellbeing of your employees as well as their families. We are grateful to be an important resource for you this past year and look forward to working with you in 2021 and beyond.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Valley Schools and WellStyles™, our innovative employee wellness program, is helping to generate positive change in the public sector, contact us today!