What Families Need from an Employee Benefits Plan
Employee benefit plans are often extended further than just your internal employees – they can be used to cover your employees’ spouses and children too! When sourcing a benefits plan it’s important to consider who will be using the plan and what coverage they need most.
We’ve broken down some components of an employee benefits plan that families value most.
1. Good quality benefits
Families value good quality employee benefits. They like having comprehensive health, dental and vision benefits that support the health of all members of their family. This doesn’t mean you have to provide full coverage if your budget doesn’t allow it. It simply means ensuring the benefits you do provide are of the highest quality.
Innovative benefits that go above and beyond what’s generally provided really do make a difference. One example from GroupHEALTH is “hospital cash.” This is a daily cash payment given to your employee beginning on their 5th day of hospitalization. The money is meant to help cover miscellaneous expenses related to hospitalization; examples include parking fees or snacks from the hospital cafeteria. The money can be used however the plan member wishes.
2. Access to an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
Having support for mental health is something that many families prioritize. At the core of most employee and family assistance programs is counselling services. Access is usually 24/7 and removes the financial barrier for employees, as well as the initial challenge of “where should I go if I want counselling?” Employee and family assistance programs usually offer online resources as well as counselling to help employees deal with life’s challenges (both big and small).
Families have dynamic needs and, as a result, value flexibility in a benefits plan. One way to be flexible is to include a Health Spending Account (HSA). This way, employees can spend their benefit dollars on what is most important for their family and lifestyle.
You can also help provide flexibility in benefits coverage by offering combined maximums for certain coverages. For example, you may cover up to $500 towards massage therapy, physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments combined. Your employee can then choose which practitioner(s) they will spend the benefit dollars on.
4. Virtual Healthcare
We all lead busy lives, so access to virtual healthcare on-the-go is appealing to families. Virtual healthcare allows family members to connect with healthcare professional (such as a doctor or nurse) via video chat on their computer or mobile device 24/7.
Employees who don’t have a family doctor find value in virtual healthcare because of the continuity of care. Wherever possible, employees and their families are connected with the same healthcare professional. This allows the family to build a relationship with the professional in the same way they would their family doctor. In cases where the same professional is not available, the patient’s files are available for an alternate provider to view.
Supporting employees in pursuing a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle is a benefit that matters to families. You can provide wellness support by offering a wellness spending account. This means employees and their families have access to benefits dollars they can use on wellness related expenses (eg. yoga classes, sports equipment). Consider office initiatives that promote wellness such as healthy eating lunch and learns or contests to promote healthy eating and exercise.
How it Benefits You
Giving your employees and their families the employee benefit plans they want also benefits you, the employer. Happy and supported employees:
- Have fewer absences
- Are more productive
- Have lower health benefits claims
- Are more likely to stay with your company (think retention!)
Good Advice is Key
Your employees (regardless of whether they are women or not) value good quality benefits, employee and family assistance programs, flexibility, virtual healthcare and wellness. We can help with that. Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone or in-person or contact us for a comparison quote.