Employee Health Benefits at Community and Social Services Organizations

Employee Health Benefits and Social Services Organizations | GroupHEALTH Benefit SolutionsEmployee health benefits are important for any organization, perhaps even more so for community and social services organizations. This sector is built on supporting others; delivering that support takes a lot out of employees. Ensuring you have the right employee health benefits plan for these employees is crucial.

A Caring Sector

The community and social services sector supports the most vulnerable in society. Without question, the employees of this sector are these organizations’ most valuable assets. They are the backbone of the sector. Employees directly impact the quality of the services provided.

As the sector is made of various organizations (profit, non-profit, unionized, non-unionized), compensation philosophies vary for employees. Employees often work long hours and many work shift work. Sometimes it can be challenging to find an employee benefits plan that can meet the needs of so many different organizations with such a diverse workforce.

Supporting Valuable Assets

Employee benefits are one of the best ways to support your employees in the community and social service sector. They need support for their physical, emotional and mental health. It’s important to provide benefits that prevent health challenges and burnout, as well as benefits that treat these conditions when they occur.

Flexibility is really important for this sector. Each organization is different so the employee benefits offering must be tailored to the needs of the organization in order to be effective. Often, services are provided outside of traditional working hours, which means it may be hard for employees to access support during normal business hours.

Preventative care (such as wellness) is a good strategy, as employees in this sector are often performing work that is very draining. The right benefits can help prevent burnout and keep employees healthy and happy so they can offer the best support to others.

The Benefits

Because many organizations in this sector are not-for-profit, the return-on-investment for benefits must be high. When allocating benefits dollars, there are some benefits that deserve extra attention.

1. Standard

Obviously, your employees want and need access to the most used benefits such as prescription drugs, paramedical coverage, dental coverage, life insurance and more. These are all benefits that are usually widely understood and top of mind for employees.

There are many nuances to these benefits, choices that can be made, and cost control opportunities to explore. These are often considered “standard” plan components, but there may be other elements that are important but aren’t always part of a standard plan.

2. Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

Employee and family assistance programs have become increasingly important to employees. Given the physical and emotional demands in this sector, including an EFAP component in your employee benefits program is especially important for this sector.

An employee and family assistance program provides 24/7 support so employees can handle stressful situations and personal issues. It’s support for all aspects of life, including finances, relationships, retirement and health concerns.

Employees can call the program to connect with a counsellor or other professional right away, then the program will set up further short-term counselling as needed. This removes many of the barriers that can prevent your employees from seeking help.

There is also a robust online platform that employees can access for articles, toolkits, podcasts and more. This kind of comprehensive support can help minimize the impact that life’s challenges can have on mental health and well-being. It’s preventative medicine that can really have a positive impact on your employees’ mental health.

3. Disability

We all know how important it is to have coverage for disability, but the part of this coverage that is often missing is disability management services. These services should be included with long term disability coverage; they are valuable for so many reasons.

Disability management services mean an independent third party works with you and your ill or injured employee throughout the duration of an absence. The disability management case worker helps the employee with a whole range of support during the absence. In addition to providing emotional support, the case worker can help with completing necessary paperwork, scheduling medical appointments and many other aspects of a disability absence.

One of the most important roles of a disability management case worker is to create a customized return-to-work plan for your ill or injured employee. This is a critical step in shortening the length of a disability leave and helping the employee get back to work as soon as they’re able. This isn’t just good for your claim costs, research shows it’s also good for your employee. There is a correlation between how soon an employee returns to work and how likely they are to return to pre-disability health. Disability management services are an important long-term cost containment strategy, they’re good for your employees and they’re good for your company.

Good Advice is Key

Employees in the community and social service sector deserve the right benefits plan to support them. Is your benefits plan the best it can be for your organization and your employees? Explore your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.

Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefits packages that work as hard as you do.

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