Picwell Blog

The New Normal: How to Adapt Your Health Care Benefits Package to Meet Changing Needs

May 5, 2021 9:02:48 AM / by Picwell

The last year has forever changed the way we all live and work. As a result, your employees’ needs and priorities have also shifted. In order to keep your workforce comfortable and happy, your benefits package must adapt to meet these changing needs. While overhauling your suite of perks can be challenging, it’s your company’s opportunity to show team members you care - and to stand out as an employer of choice. In this blog, we’re going to dig in to some of the most significant changes we’ve seen and show you ways you can adapt your benefits package to better fit this new normal.

Health Care Has Gone Virtual

In the last year, telehealth quickly became the norm simply because employees had no other choice. Many doctors were unable to see patients unless there was an emergency so technology played a crucial role in ensuring employees could access the health care they needed. Technology made it possible for employees to “see” their doctors and therapists anytime, anywhere from their computers, tablets, or smartphones.

Even though the world is re-opening, this trend will only continue. Telehealth is convenient, fast, and more affordable than an in-person visit and health care providers like virtual consultations for the same reasons. As a benefits professional, you should continue to promote telehealth treatment and even consider offering additional virtual tools, such as apps or devices that:

  • track and monitor things like heart rate, blood pressure, calorie intake, and sleep.
  • teach employees how to better care for their well-being through activities such as meditation or exercise.
  • train employees’ brains or boost their moods.

With these types of resources at their fingertips, your employees will be tuned in to their health and will be able to take a proactive approach, no matter where they are. 

Related Reading: Shaping Benefits Plans in a Digital World: How To Meet And Exceed Employee Expectations

Supplemental Benefits are Vital

The pandemic has had a profound effect on many employees. Many have felt stressed and helpless and some even have experienced serious blows to their financial standing. It’s time for them to rebuild and take back control of their lives.

A robust, customizable supplemental benefits package can help them do just that. Sure, your employees still need their major medical insurance and retirement savings plans. But now, they’re looking for more specific assistance that’s tailored to their unique circumstances. To meet employees where they are and remain competitive in the labor market, you can consider offering these perks on an ongoing, permanent basis:

  • flexible schedules (practically expected at this point!)
  • additional mental health treatment options
  • an employee assistance plan (EAP)
  • reimbursement for child care or elder care
  • student loan repayment assistance
  • financial education, coaching, or planning
  • home office reimbursements (think internet and other office supplies typically provided by an organization)

The above list just scratches the surface. Now more than ever, employees want benefits that help them improve their entire well-being - mind, body, wallet, and otherwise. Plus, they need the flexibility to prioritize their family and their health. Any perk your company offers that meets those needs is a win!

Communication is More Important Than Ever

Clear, consistent, and timely benefits communication is more important than ever. Your employees need to:

  • see what benefits are available to them.
  • know which benefits are right for them.
  • receive guidance on how to enroll in benefits.
  • understand how to use each benefit.

As the pandemic has shown, getting the word out to a geographically dispersed workforce is a challenge. Even though some workers have returned (or will return) to the office, many will remain remote. To accommodate everyone, you should continue to hold virtual benefits fairs and open enrollments indefinitely. 

You should also consider creating a strategy to educate employees about their benefits year-round - not just during open enrollment. Done well, your enrollment, usage, and satisfaction will likely increase. However, we all know that providing benefits education, communication, and guidance to employees is time-consuming - and particularly difficult for small teams. Fortunately, there are an abundance of helpful tools that can make the process easier.

Simplifying the Benefits Selection Process

Picwell DX exists to help your employees enroll in the ideal benefits for their personal situations. First and foremost, it’s a sophisticated benefits decision support solution that uses employee data and an advanced algorithm to determine which plans provide the best coverage for the best value. But it does much more than that.

The tool guides employees through the benefits selection process, offering helpful information and explanations along the way. By using Picwell DX, employees will feel more knowledgeable about their benefits and become more confident in their decisions. Plus, Picwell also provides handy, fully customizable email templates that you can use to send critical benefits-related communication year-round.

Picwell is available to employees 24/7 and is accessible anywhere. That means your employees can get the help they need without having to make an appointment with you or anyone else from your team. The platform makes benefits education simple, fast, engaging, and on-demand, putting the power back into the hands of your employees.

Meeting New Demands of Changing Times 

As a benefits professional, you’re used to changing your benefits package to align with the times. However, the pandemic has forced more change, more rapidly than any of us ever anticipated. For your employees’ (and your company’s) sake you must be ready to pivot and meet the new demands of your workforce.

To learn more about what Picwell can do for your organization -- including how it saves you and your employees money, schedule a demo today.

Topics: Open Enrollment, Benefits Decision Support, Health Insurance, employee benefits, benefits professionals, supplemental benefits


Written by Picwell