As employers look to continuous improvement in their recruiting and retention initiatives, it may well be worth some time to look at emerging benefits industry trends.
The current top trend for 2016, fueled by technology advances and consumer demand, is telemedicine. Telemedicine uses technology to facilitate communication between a medical provider and patient who are not in the same physical location for the purpose of evaluating, diagnosing and treating certain conditions. According to the American Telemedicine Association, there were 1 million virtual doctor visits in 2015 – with the number of virtual visits in 2016 expected to increase.
Advantages of telemedicine include affording more convenient care, increased access to medical providers and cost savings to patients and plan sponsors.
Despite lower cost options like telemedicine being added within health plans, health care cost continue to trend up. The primary reasons include increased utilization, an aging population, and growing costs of prescription and specialty drugs.
Another interesting trend is student loan repayment benefits. With the latest graduates entering the workforce with an average of $37,712 in loan debt, they are looking for employer assistance. Employers are beginning to embrace this new benefit as a way to increase recruitment and retention success and improve employee morale and productivity.
This leads directly to the another trend which is the growth of voluntary benefits – allowing employers to address multi-generational workforce needs, wants, and expectations in an affordable manner.
Being aware of emerging benefits trends can set employers apart from their competitors and better position organizations for recruiting and retention success.