The coronavirus pandemic has impacted businesses and their employees in so many tangible ways from the surge in unemployment amid closures and lockdowns to the dramatic shift to remote work. Many workers face financial hardships and the struggle to balance today’s new normal and an unknown future. As a result, companies are re-evaluating their entire benefits program, with a major focus on extending or enhancing ancillary benefits to accommodate the needs and concerns their employees face.
Employers Responding to Greater Need and Interest in Ancillary Benefits
Employee benefits programs have been an instrumental component of an employee’s compensation package to attract and retain skilled and talented workers. Over the years, as the job market landscape has become increasingly competitive, ancillary benefits have evolved to include many options. Voluntary worksite benefits often include additional coverage options such as Group Life, Long-Term Care, and Critical Illness; and financial planning assistance.
In the wake of the coronavirus, companies are once again re-examining their voluntary benefits to determine what type of services and coverages would make a meaningful difference in their employees’ lives. Some of the changes and additions that companies are considering include the following enhancements to their benefit offerings.
Emphasizing Health Coverage
Most voluntary benefits provide workers with an opportunity to add to and customize their program with employee paid Group Life, Group Disability, Vision, and other products. Often, employees don’t focus on these benefits, as they are more concerned with their Health insurance during open enrollment. Companies are now reinforcing the need for employees to evaluate available voluntary benefit options, including those for Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity, and other coverages that have come to the forefront due to the pandemic. Employees may also want to look at enhancing their Life and Disability coverages. It’s important to note that voluntary benefits can be purchased year-round, not only during open enrollment.
Providing Financial Wellness Benefits
Even before the pandemic, companies were looking to expand upon their financial wellness benefits, realizing that financial wellbeing is critical to promoting job satisfaction, loyalty, productivity, and engagement. In the wake of the virus, the focus on financial wellness has intensified as businesses search for additional ways to help employees cope with the income shortfall many now face. These can include providing instant pay benefits, payroll advances, low-interest installment loans, and automated, payroll-deducted savings accounts that assist employees with unexpected expenses without incurring high-cost debt.
Other Potential Benefits
Companies are also providing greater work-schedule flexibility to employees, mindful of the need for work-life balance with so many working from home, and the potential for burnout. In addition, some organizations are offering additional paid time off (PTO) to help employees manage changes that have impacted them and their families, such as remote schooling for children, while others are expanding paid family leave options.
Addressing the Greater Need for Ancillary Benefits
Companies can help employees manage their emotional and financial well-being with a suite of voluntary benefits solutions that are in sync with the reality of their employees’ lives and situations. Paroubek Insurance is available to help you examine your current employee benefits program to reflect your employees’ evolving needs in today’s environment.
Contact Paroubek Insurance today and review your group health benefits!