3 Reasons it’s vital to have an employee health benefits plan in 2021
There are always important reasons to provide your employees with a health benefit plan but now, in 2021, it has become vital. This may have been a tough year for your employees, and for your business. The employment landscape has been dynamic as the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to where and how your employees work – and who is doing that work.
If you don’t already have an employee health benefits plan, you should. And if you do have one, you’d be wise to make sure it is still a good fit for your employees. Three of the most important reasons to have the right plan in 2021 are:
- Support your employees
Living through a pandemic is hard! Chances are, at least some of your employees are struggling financially and/or emotionally, and some may have new health issues as a result of this tumultuous year. There have been changes to work locations, there have been changes to work hours and there have been changes to processes. Many employees have begun feeling disconnected to the workplace and social distancing has taken a toll.
All of this means your employees are likely feeling stress. The financial burden of paying for counselling, filling prescriptions, or visiting a medical practitioner may mean that your employees aren’t getting the help and medications that they need. And let’s face it: your employees are your most valuable asset. It makes sense to take care of them. Supporting them with an employee health benefits plan is the right thing to do.
- Increase productivity
When your employees are not getting the medical and emotional support they need, they’re likely not bringing their “A” game to work. With financial and emotional obstacles weighing them down, it’s hard to come to work and be a top performer. The result is that productivity suffers.
Maybe this means an increase in sick days or maybe it means an increase in presenteeism. Whichever it is, it ultimately hurts your bottom line. You want your employees to be happy and healthy so they can focus on their work. The right employee health benefits plan can help with this.
- Attract and Retain Employees
The COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through the workforce. Some businesses were temporarily closed, others significantly reduced their operating hours. This meant that there was movement in the workforce – employees shifted to other companies and other jobs when their original employer closed shop. Now, as businesses re-open, some employers are struggling to get workers to come back. Employers also have to contend with government programs like the Canadian Emergency Response Benefits (CERB), where some employees receive a higher wage through the benefit than if they were actually working. This has meant some workers are reluctant to return to employment.
Providing a good employee benefits plan can help with this. A good benefits plan can help retain the workers that you already have, and help recruit new ones. It’s a competitive job market and the right employee benefits plan can make all the difference.
The Right Plan
When it comes to the right employee benefits plan, it really depends on the company. Each business is unique and what is a good fit for one company may not be a good fit for another. Setting goals for the plan and surveying employees is always a good place to start when looking for the right employee benefits plan. Better yet – choose the right employee benefits provider to help you navigate plan options.
For most companies, a combination of some standard employee benefits is a good place to start:
- – Extended health – Often the most well-known of employee benefits, extended health typically covers prescription drugs and paramedical practitioners (such as massage therapy or physiotherapy).
- – Dental – Preventative dental visits (like examinations and cleaning) or major dental work like crowns or bridges may be covered. Some dental plans also cover orthodontics.
- – Disability – These benefits are meant to provide coverage for loss of wages due to a disability. There are several types of disability coverage; long-term disability (LTD) is typically the most commonly offered disability benefit.
- – Life and serious illness – Coverage for some of life’s most challenging times, life and serious illness benefits provide a lump sum payment in the event of death or the diagnosis of a serious illness.
- – Employee and family assistance program (EFAP) – An invaluable support for employees as they navigate challenges and stresses in many different aspects of their life, an employee and family assistance program has become standard in most employee benefit plans.
- – Health Spending Account – Some employers choose to offer a health spending account to give employees choice in how their benefit dollars are spent. The account can be used to cover unpaid balances for other benefits or benefits that are not otherwise covered.
Good Advice is Key
Providing an employee benefits plan in 2021 is more important than ever. Do you want to delve deeper into the reasons you should be considering one? Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.