How to Stay Competitive with Employee Benefits That Millennials Want

Simply Benefits Marketing

By Simply Benefits Marketing

July 8, 2020

 It’s never been more difficult to attract and retain talent. With a new generation of employees entering the workforce, organizations across Canada are competing to hire and keep their top employees. How are businesses staying competitive? It’s simple. Offering better, more accessible healthcare. This includes anything from offering spending accounts, to digital benefits. We have broken it down to show you the top five proven ways to expand your benefit offerings and stay competitive with the workforce of this generation.

Choose the Right Health Benefits Plan 

Companies are finding that attracting and retaining staff is becoming more difficult over the years, around 40% more difficult to be exact. Because of this, companies say that the main purpose of their health benefit plan is to support employee productivity and attraction and retention. From an employee’s perspective, 71% agree that the health benefit plan is a strong incentive for them to stay with their employer. 

Another result showed that 86% of employers agree that their health benefit plan is an important factor when deciding on a job offer. This tells us that one of the best things you can do to stand out as an Employer is to promote the health and well-being of your employees by offering a comprehensive health benefits plan. This doesn’t have to be expensive, but including drug, healthcare, and dental coverage will help you land the best employees.

Offer Digital Healthcare Technology 

There’s been a significant increase in the use of health apps by employees. Over 53% of employees with a health plan used at least one digital device or mobile app for personal health benefits in the past year. These apps include fitness tracking devices, exercise reminders, and health assessment tools. Younger employees between the ages of 18 to 32 were 70% more likely to use an app than members over the age of 55, making digital health a great way to attract young talent.

These results open the door for digital integration of other tools like benefit management and claim submission because of the increase in digital use over the past year. It’s likely that increased control of health benefits through a digital platform would also increase personal health and satisfaction. 

Turn to FlexPlans & HSAs

Spending accounts are equally popular among employers and employees. The size of the company matters, however, with results showing that employers with 500 or more employees are more likely to offer a flex plan than employers with fewer than 50 employees. This may change in the future, with results showing that 43% of smaller employers anticipate that HSAs will play a significant role over the next five years. 

The success rate for HSAs among employees is very high with 93% of employees saying they like having an HSA and 82% of employees saying they would like to have an HSA. It’s also worth noting that 94% of employees that have an HSA did use at least some of it in 2019. When it comes to wellness accounts or LSAs, 35% of employers offer a wellness account which is almost double up from 2017.

HSAs and flex accounts are a win-win for value and cost-effectiveness among employers and employees and will likely keep growing in the future especially when paired with a digital benefit management software that allows for tracking and quick claim submission. 

Include Out-of-Pocket Maximums

Drugs make up the majority of health claim costs and are a large and important part of the health benefits world. Over 53% of employees take at least one medication on a regular basis. That number boosts to 70% among employees with a chronic condition. 

Modern drug coverage is getting complicated because of the increasing costs of new drugs. To combat these costs, employers introduce drug plan maximums which tend to be misunderstood by employees. The survey found that a quarter of employees are unsure if their drug plan even has a maximum. The average annual coverage maximum among drug plans currently sits at $9,900, however more than half of drug plans have a coverage maximum of less than $2,500. 

Instead of having a drug plan maximum, employers should have an out-of-pocket maximum. This essentially means that after employees pay a certain amount on healthcare themselves (or, out-of-pocket), the employer will then begin to pay 100% of the healthcare costs. This method makes it more attractive for employees who have chronic conditions or utilize their healthcare more frequently.

Keep Your Eye on Future Benefits

As we move into a new decade, it’s important to be aware of which benefits are sought after and which benefits need to be changed. Here are the top 10 services that employees would like included in addition to their health plan:

  1. Immunizations for infectious diseases
  2. Fitness classes
  3. Health risk screenings with healthcare professionals
  4. 24-hour virtual care
  5. Genetic testing to determine risk for certain diseases
  6. Personal fitness trainer
  7. Fitness tracking device
  8. Genetic testing to determine which drugs would likely work best
  9. Pet insurance
  10. Personal financial planning services

When looking to the future, 61% of employers agree that they have a specific objective for their health benefit plan in the coming year. However these objectives are likely to reflect cost-effectiveness and are purely strategic. 

Fitness classes being rated so high likely comes from the desire for wellness accounts, which can be easily covered with a Lifestyle Spending Account.

Final Thoughts

With digital technology and spending account usage high over the last year, it leaves a huge opportunity for scaling into health benefits management. The Simply Benefits platform is 100% digital and allows employers to customize their plans with multiple flex options including HSAs and LSAs as well as a digital drug card. Our platform also has a usage tracker for employees to view their usage and coverage so they can get the absolute most out of their plan. 

Contact us at support@simplybenefits.ca to learn more.

References

Sanofi’s 2020 Healthcare survey provides great insight into employer strategy, benefit trends, and gaps in health benefit knowledge. This year’s survey will help us focus on what’s important for the future of employee benefits. Download the full report at www.sanofi.ca

Sanofi-aventis Canada Inc. “The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey; Future Forward Frontline Perspectives on the Future of Health Benefit”, June 24, 2020. https://www.sanofi.ca/-/media/Project/One-Sanofi-Web/Websites/North-America/Sanofi-CA/Home/en/Products-and-Resources/sanofi-canada-health-survey/sanofi-canada-healthcare-survey-2020-EN.pdf

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