Why this CEO says additional health benefits will be critical for businesses over the next year

Getting workers to pay attention to their benefit options during open enrollment has been an uphill battle for most employers. But in the wake of the pandemic, employees are more committed than ever and their new focus is on previously overlooked voluntary options such as life and disability insurance.

Before the pandemic, employees spent an average of 17 minutes signing up for all benefits, according to a study by Voya. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 56% of employees reported spending more time reviewing options in 2021 than in previous years.

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“We have seen a tremendous increase in benefits that are transferable and person-related,” said Alex Frommeyer, CEO of Beam, noting that employees have a particular interest in voluntary benefits. “We noticed increased interest in our core business, which is both dental insurance and vision, and we also saw that life insurance had a particularly strong year because the pandemic forced people to think about life insurance.” not yet. “

Frommeyer recently associated with News on employee benefits to discuss the increased interest in and awareness of voluntary benefits, which benefits will be decisive in 2022 and which lessons employers should learn from 2021.

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What has changed this year in terms of employee benefits in terms of employee focus?
An exciting trend has been the advent and increasing popularity of complementary health insurance, both in its traditional definition such as accident, serious illness and hospital liability insurance, which are used to supplement health insurance. But we’ve also seen really new and emerging categories like mental health benefits.

Do you think that employees will be offering more of these volunteer opportunities in 2022?
Sure, especially if they have two main characteristics: portability, which means it stays with the employee and is not tied to the employer or an office environment, and digital first is the other main characteristic. Digital first has evolved from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have in recent years. Employers need this integration with payroll systems and benefit management tools. This is the underlying infrastructure for preparing offers, registration, claims processing, customer support and member administration.

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Which of the benefits we discussed do you think will be most important over the next year?
It’s difficult because there are multiple answers. I’m most excited about dietary supplements because I’m especially sensitive to small employers who have just started becoming really aggressive dietary supplement buyers. It is really exciting when employers can round off an offer that helps them to solve a problem that is critical for them in this job market, as it is of course very tight and changes very quickly. They are trying to attract and retain the talent they need to attract in business.

What do you think was the biggest lesson for employers in 2021?
The ability to access, select, and manage benefits in a digitally native manner is critical as we all work from home and the workforce these days is dominated by millennials who expect everything to be digital. That was definitely a lesson for many employers – traditionally, your annual enrollment was done by walking around the office and hand filling out the health registration forms, then going back and picking them up. It does not work anymore. Many employers need to step up their game and work seriously with brokers who have digital tools and carriers who have digitally native approaches to the performance experience.

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