Employers are Struggling to Balance Benefit Costs with Employee Well-Being

With the pandemic expected to continue well into 2021, employers are struggling to balance benefit costs with employee well-being. Canadian employers want to focus on employee well-being during the increased pressures from the pandemic but face the reality of declining revenue and the need to reduce costs.

According to a new survey by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, 55% of respondents said controlling costs is their top benefits-related challenge this year. Many are considering cost-saving measures such as variable cost structures and rebalancing cost-sharing with employees. While most employers say they still pay for the full cost of the benefit plan, the survey found fewer employers are offering full coverage of extended health-care coverage, paramedical co-insurance, and drug plan premiums.

The survey also found that 68% of employers have increased focus on employees’ emotional well-being, amid a variety of new anxieties caused by COVID-19. Of the 56% of employers who have increased employee well-being initiatives, 37% have launched new resources and tools, 19% have expanded their overall programs and 19% have increased support for their employee’s financial well-being.

While a greater focus on overall employee well-being (mind, body, and bank account) is encouraging, employers’ priorities have changed because of the pandemic. There has been a shift in focus from talent acquisition and retention to financial stability and business continuity. This is understandable given the current business climate, some industries are worse off than others. However, it is critical to remember that employee well-being and engagement remain key to business performance. Any cost/benefit analysis of employee well-being vs the cost of employee benefits will show that productivity and profitability suffer if employees are distracted by personal concerns (such as health, finances, etc.).

Employers are struggling to balance benefit costs with employee well-being, however, there are many cost-saving options available that allow you to improve employee engagement, retention, and acquisition. Health Care Spending Accounts have revolutionized an industry previously dominated by traditional group benefit plans. Health spending accounts (HSAs) are a tax-free benefit that allows employers and employees reduce the cost of medical expenses and eliminate the waste that typically comes with a traditional plan.

If you are an employer struggling to balance benefit costs with employee well-being, contact the employee health-care experts at DENT Benefits to explore your options!

The information in this material is derived from various sources. Material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources; however, no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please contact us for benefit, pension and insurance advice based on your corporate or personal circumstances.

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