Employers continue to adjust plan designs and offerings to emphasize lifestyle-focused benefits like mental health and fertility treatments in order to meet the diverse needs of today’s workforce, according to DirectPath’s annual Gartner Trends Report, which gives insight into employers’ 2020 health care benefits strategies.
Some of the trends being incorporated into benefit offerings this year include new attention to emotional well-being, a renewed interest in voluntary benefits like pet insurance and an increased focus on family-focused benefits, like fertility treatments and child and eldercare support.
“The data suggests that offering hyper-personalized benefits that focus largely on family-related needs has a significant impact on an employee’s satisfaction with their health care benefits — a trend we expect to continue in the future,” says Monique McCloud-Manley, vice president of the Gartner HR practice.
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Standard healthcare coverages such as dental, vision and disability coverage remain the most prevalent, with over 83% of employers offering dental and vision on a voluntary basis, over 70% offering long-term disability, and 65% offering short-term disability.
But in order to attract and retain top talent, employers must supplement these offerings with personalized benefits packages. Benefits like fertility treatments, child and eldercare support, adoption assistance, extended parental leave, dependent care, flexible spending accounts and flexible scheduling are becoming more common as employees place increased importance on the need for financial assistance with family planning.
“Employees are increasingly being put farther behind financially,” says Kim Buckey, vice president of client services at DirectPath. “Both employees and employers are suffering, and employers are having to allocate more of their benefit spend to medical coverage. Employers have to make some difficult decisions about what they can afford to provide, but also what they need to provide and what employees are asking for.”
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