Employee health benefits has been a stable and growing industry for nearly a century. Employers provide health insurance coverage and providers follow through with connection to doctors, specialists, prescriptions, and other medical services. Providers can count on employers to direct employee dollars into health benefits. However, a recent trend in the hiring market has started rebalancing employment contracts and therefore cutting into the overall budget for employer-provided health benefits.
For health providers, this means a serious change in client buying patterns. The pool of available dollars for health insurance and traditional health and hospital-related services is decreasing. But those funds haven’t left the market. They’re still available for providers that offer the services that employers are now looking for.
Many industries are changing rapidly and benefits is among them. As the nature of employment changes, so too will the benefits desired by employees and offered by businesses.
Rise of Health and Wellness Benefits
Over the last five years, benefits have been moving toward whole-lifestyle wellness. As unemployment drops and professionals are in higher demand, the need to make work-life more rewarding has inspired employers to offer more complete and holistic benefits. Employers began attracting talent based on the company culture and the lifestyle improvements offered by packages. Gym memberships and lunchtime yoga classes peaked in the trends for a while, followed by catered lunches and mental health options.
Health Insurance Flexibility and Build-Your-Own Plans
Another effect of the lifestyle health benefits trend is flexible health insurance. Employees are now more often looking for a build-your-own or piecemeal selection of health insurance. This allows them to build plans that fit their needs and budget.
This approach to health insurance breaks up the tradition of health providers, but not the actual industry.
Balancing Wellness Benefits with Health Insurance
With the increasing emphasis on lifestyle wellness benefits, employers are rebalancing how they incentivize employee contracts. New employees are enticed with spinning classes, healthy catered lunches, and even financial advisors. Comfort facilities in the office and lifestyle supplies for remote team members diversify the health services now offered by employers. Combined with build-your-own, reduced, and targeted health insurance, this has redistributed the available pool of income for health providers.
Adapting the Benefits Industry to the Wellness Demand
The answer lies not in competing with wellness services but in adopting and including them. Health benefits providers, agents, and HR managers don’t have to see the wellness trend sweep away benefits income from employee packages. It’s time to adapt the industry and include wellness services in the packages sold to employers for their teams.
Providers essentially coordinate a network of care and services. The industry expanded beyond simple health insurance packages many years ago and this is yet another evolution in the same direction. Wellness benefits provide holistic preventative care. Expand your network of services to include massage, gym memberships, fitness classes, nutrition consultations, and other wellness variations that are becoming popular with employers.
Today’s employers are looking to offer build-your-own incentive packages. By offering a wider variety of essential and trending options, your clients can offer that wider selection to employees as part of their package. Personalized packages not only bring benefits income back to your business, but it can also increase the rate of enrollment and employee engagement.
Connect Employees with Wellness Options
The balance of demand for health benefits is changing over time. Today’s professionals see fewer doctors and attend more yoga classes. The packages they want from employers have evolved so, in turn, employers are reallocating package funds. Rather than see the market split, today’s industry includes these lifestyle health services. It will be important for companies to keep an eye on benefits, how employees are engaging with them, and which ones are being utilized
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