Health Savings Accounts and Mental Health Benefits Top ‘Employee Benefits Wishlist’ in 2019
Give the people what they want!
An end of year study conducted by Employee Benefit News in 2019 added tangible support to the anecdotal evidence that those of us in this industry have been observing all year: wellness benefits are more important to employees than ever.
As millennials continue to integrate into the workforce and rise into leadership positions, their characteristic focus on preventative and holistic health is increasingly vocalized. The demand for more substantial wellness benefits is now being met by large and small companies alike, and the more creative of these solutions are morphing from dreams into expectations of the workforce. These expectations span generations: the more experienced demographics are now benefiting from these progressive policies, and in many cases, valuing holistic wellness benefits equal to or above more traditional approaches.
It’s not hard to see why. Evidence supports the claim that Holistic Wellness goes well beyond a buzzword used prominently in statements of corporate values or culture – although it certainly (over)utilized in this capacity as well. Employees are actively seeking job environments in which they feel supported mentally, physically, and emotionally/spiritually, both in and outside of the office. This philosophy incorporates concepts such as work-life-integration, caregiver leave policies, flexible hours and remote-work options, subscriptions to meditative and mental health services, new pet owner policies and pet-friendly offices, student loan assistance, and many more.
Here are some of our favorite benefits on the rise:
- Health Savings Accounts
- We at Soul Being have long touted the benefits of the HSA mechanism and its triple tax advantage, and the most recent findings demonstrate that employers agree that HSAs are dually supportive of employees by immediately impacting their personal finances and also encouraging them to improve their overall health through making it easy to seek healthcare and preventative strategies when needed or desired
- HSAs have proven to save our national economy millions of dollars in healthcare costs, and can also potentially save an individual significant money and time in the long term – helping both with the cost of qualified medical expenses, as well as a savings mechanism, potentially for tax exempt saving for retirement
- Total HSA investment by employees and their employers now surpasses $60B, distributed over 26M accounts; over 50% of companies now offer these benefits, and they are currently only available with High Deductible Health Plans (Devenir Research)
- Soul Being works daily to make the HSA mechanism a better understood and utilized mechanism as it benefits individuals, employers, insurers, wellness providers, and the national budget simultaneously!
- Mental Health Benefits
- Support for mental health is a highly valuable investment for employers, as many employees have indicated in recent years that they consider mental health benefits even more important than physical health benefits, and as the stigma around mental health decreases, those seeking support for chronic conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress is skyrocketing
- National mental health spend is an estimated cost of $483B-$605B annually
- 83% of employees currently offer support through insurance or other policies
- Financial Wellness Support
- 40% workers report health issues due to financial stress, and 30% report that financial stress impacts their job performance
- Help with employees’ financial wellness is proven to benefit overall health, and studies indicate that 60% are more productive at work when employer demonstrates commitment to employees’ individual financial wellness
- Chipotle became a recent shining example with new policies in 2020 of 24/7 access to mental health, financial, and legal support, effectively removing barriers to their employees success at work and improving employee loyalty in the process
- Reimagined Wellness Programs
- Overall wellness has long been a top priority, but some traditional wellness programs methods can be ineffective – these programs must now cater to the whole person – physical, mental, financial, emotional, and incorporate many options that empower employees to take control of their health under their own terms; previous standards such as biometric screening are now advised against because of liability and ineffectiveness
- 58% of companies offered wellness programs in 2019 – employees voice appreciation of this investment and report being more productive and happier
- There are many progressive and creative approaches to wellness programs, and we think that our Soul Being network can complement them all by offering a wide range of vetted professionals qualified to offer therapies and services covering over forty HSA-eligible approaches to preventative and holistic health… we have something for everyone that works for you! Check us out today.
Employees aren’t the only ones benefiting from these – ahem – benefits. While the industry vernacular shifts from “wellness ROI” to “the value of wellness,” employers continue to see productivity gains and the ability to attract and retain top talent improving with implementation and promotion of robust holistic health practices. Supporting employees’ holistic wellness can mean many things, but the bottom line is clear: everyone benefits.
Employee Benefit News, 10 Benefits Trends to be Thankful for this Year
Employee Benefit Advisor, HSA Assets Study