Today’s employees have a greater appreciation for their benefits. In fact, 62% of workers think that employee benefits are more important now than before the 2020 pandemic. In their employee benefits packages, workers say they expect to find quality health benefits, including medical, dental and vision insurance, along with a variety of voluntary benefit options.
Voluntary plans give employees choices for coverage outside of traditional health plans. In addition, voluntary benefits are popular recruitment and retention tools for employers. Learn three reasons why employees say voluntary benefits are essential.
1. Provides financial security
Employees are struggling to cope with all the changes and new responsibilities that have occurred in the past few years. Many people feel stressed and overwhelmed by higher costs due to inflation and rising interest rates.
However, employers who offer a range of voluntary benefits find that employees value having access to these plans. The benefits help ease employees’ stress, and they provide security to help meet their needs.
Employees especially are interested in voluntary plans that assist with their financial challenges. Workers are juggling their paychecks to cover fuel, groceries and housing bills. On top of that, many are making payments on student loan debts.
About 90% of Americans say that financial considerations have an impact on their stress levels. That’s why employees are interested in voluntary financial wellness benefits. These include company-paid disability programs, student loan repayment assistance, employee purchase benefits, financial counseling, 401(k) retirement plans and other savings programs.
2. Protects health
Employees want health benefits automatically included in their employer-sponsored benefits packages. Workers want medical coverage to handle unexpected health needs, but they also value dental and vision benefits. Dental and vision insurance helps them affordably take advantage of regular preventive care. It is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and good eyesight throughout life.
By protecting the healthiness of their teeth and eyes, employees can prevent expensive procedures that can significantly impact their budgets. And during yearly exams, dentists and optometrists can detect signs of emerging medical conditions, like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Many employees schedule preventive dental and vision exams to monitor health changes vs. scheduling a medical appointment. This way, they do not have to wonder how they will pay for a doctor’s visit if their health plan deductible has not been met. Of course, nothing can replace quality health care when suffering from a medical condition.
This may be why employees also appreciate voluntary telemedicine benefits. During the pandemic, telemedicine became popular because patients could talk with doctors without in-person appointments. Initially, telehealth visits were slow to catch on with patients, but they quickly came to appreciate the convenience and ease of this benefit. Telemed appointments generally are available within a few days of contacting the office.
In addition to medical, dental and vision health benefits, employees also want voluntary benefits such as accident health insurance, critical illness coverage and corporate discount and purchasing programs that fill in the gaps of health plans and assist with out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Engages employees
The pandemic has raised employees’ appreciation for employers providing various voluntary benefits. They especially value coverage that can be tailored to individual or family needs. Employees who receive these benefits are grateful to their employers and tend to stay longer. This commitment saves businesses money because they spend less on employee turnover costs.
Do employees know about all of their benefits and how to use them? To make sure, employers should adopt a monthly communications strategy to showcase the benefits available to employees. It will help educate workers about coverage features they may be missing. In these communications, briefly explain how employees can use well-being programs and preventive insurance benefits to remain healthier. The goal is to inform and generate interest, so employees want to learn more.
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