Wellman Shew Shares the Top Five Employee Benefits Changes of the 2020s

 The employee benefits expert highlights the significant changes to compensation and benefits since 2020.

Wellman Shew

FRESNO, CALIFORNIA, October 17, 2022 — The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated a shifting perspective on employee benefits fueled by advances in medical technology, personal health tracking, and an increased focus on mental health. Throughout his four decades focused on employee benefits, Wellman Shew has watched major transitions in plan offerings and employer culture.

He expects even more flux as the traditional workplace model evolves for more young professionals.

Five Benefit Changes

Biometric data

Health insurance coverage and retirement saving are long-term cornerstones of employee benefit packages. For years, the main transitions included premium increases or shifts in funding. More recently, an increase in easily accessible, affordable biometric data is dramatically changing how healthcare is delivered and preventative care is tackled.

From smartwatches providing health insurance companies with analytic data — primarily for observational purposes at the present time — to increased home testing for a variety of preventative care and routine needs, the requirements of health insurance plans are changing. More incentivize documented movement and positive health changes through reward programs and provide increased coverage for lower-cost telehealth visits or by-mail diagnostic testing when possible.

As more major healthcare providers shift to increased digital healthcare delivery and results are better documented, Wellman Shew expects this shift to continue and grow in the coming years.

Mental health coverage

Due to the explosion of telehealth services, including counseling, more employers are providing at least a basic level of mental health via a standard health plan.

Many are focused on offering a set amount of covered visits or calls with a professional each year, but even more changes are likely to roll out to the entire workforce as more major employers create a tipping point for overall change. According to a Harvard Business Review survey on benefits in 2021, 41% of respondents planned to expand mental health benefits in 2021.

Care for children and adults

One central stress area for working adults is the need for caregiving for children and even older family members, such as aging parents. Wellman Shew explains employers have attempted to tackle care needs in sporadic methods for years, including offering daycare services or subsidizing payments.

With the increased demands placed on working parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers started analyzing care requirements more uniformly, with many in the same Harvard Business Review survey exploring the expansion of senior and childcare benefits.

Working remotely

Workplace flexibility is also considered a requirement for many employees after being sent home for the first several months of the pandemic. According to Wellman Shew, remote work is no longer viewed as a luxury for employees or a situation to be endured by employers. The pandemic showed many workers find working from home to be as productive as office life without a harried commute or the concerns of managing family schedules around a drive to and from the office.

With this shift, more flexible PTO policies and other family-friendly initiatives have evolved, such as flexible working hours or a focus on output, in industries where a strict timetable is not required.

Stable premiums

While health insurance costs continue to rise, many employers have sought to stabilize employee paycheck withholdings by either negotiating new plans, increasing the employer-covered portion of the plan, or contributing to Health Savings Accounts for employees.

Wellman Shew points to a Medical Group Management Association survey showing increased employer contribution toward health insurance costs. While this survey focused on changes in the healthcare industry alone, the shift holds across private employers striving to remain competitive during a period of high employee turnover.

read more: Dr. Calvin Hirsch

Previous Post Next Post

Responsive Ads

Responsive Ad