In March 15, 2016

The holidays are now long gone and many of your employees are (hopefully) working on their New Year’s resolutions. Although these resolutions are often the same each year – workout more, eat better, spend less – benefits trends continue to change. Below are three trends we’re predicting for 2016:

  • High-Deductible Health Plans & Health Savings Accounts – In 2005 there were about 1 million Americans with HSA-eligible insurance. That number grew to over 17.4 million by 2014 (AHIP HSA Census 2014 – copy provided). That’s a tremendous amount of growth in about a decade. As HSAs and high deductible plans continue to become commonplace, more employers are likely to follow suit. In the same way that pension plans gradually transitioned into 401(k)s and employees accepted it as the “new normal”, the HSA trend may too become the new normal.
  • Telemedicine – The days of walking into a doctor’s office and 40 minute wait times may be going the way of the dinosaur. OK, maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but telemedicine trend continues to gain more popularity. Large employers continue to put in place on-site clinics with nurse practitioners and doctors available to employees, all without leaving the office. For medium sized and smaller employers, relying on video conferencing technology and good old-fashioned phone calls for help is revolutionizing how we use healthcare. Some of the newest trends in telemedicine include using smart phones to take photos and videos of symptoms to share directly with a medical professional.
  • Financial Wellness Programs – Employers that have already implemented physical wellness programs are now adding financial wellness. They are also realizing financial wellness extends well beyond retirement planning, as college planning, budgeting, debt and real estate all affect one’s ability to save for retirement. Comprehensive financial wellness vendors typically include both technology and certified professionals that coordinate with existing vendors such as EAPs, retirement plans, and benefits brokers. These types of programs may be employee-paid, employer-paid, or both. Haven’t joined the bandwagon yet? Click here to learn more about starting a financial wellness program for your company.

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