Health Insurance Benefits And The Return To Work

The gradual return to work for millions of Americans should have HR departments looking for new and better ways to brand themselves as employers. What is now being marketed as ’employer branding’ is a way to set your company apart in order to attract and retain top talent. Health insurance is a big part of it.

Health insurance has been a staple employee benefit for decades. It started out as major medical coverage for emergencies or hospitalizations. In the late 1970s and early 80s, health insurance morphed into the current health maintenance organization (HMO) model we still use today.

What does this have to do with employer branding? Quite a bit, if a study recently released by The Manifest is to be believed. The study explores how COVID-19 has led to record unemployment. In anticipating a rebound, the study shows that 91% of hiring companies utilize benefits as a means of attracting new hires.

Health Insurance in the COVID-19 Era

The Manifest survey goes on to suggest that hiring managers more aggressively promote health insurance and paid time off (PTO). Health insurance is likely to be on the minds of many who worry about going back to work and potentially catching the virus. Thus, offering health insurance as a benefit could be a positive thing for attracting top talent.

PTO is also big in the sense that government-mandated family leave policies will not remain in force forever. Offering more generous PTO can ease the fears of workers who assume that, at some point in the future, they will have to take time away to care for sick loved ones.

Brokers to the Rescue

All of this is well and good from a theoretical standpoint. But how are employers supposed to know what the most competitive health insurance products are? This is where brokers become indispensable. The most competent among them have already been looking into health insurance options for some time. Anticipating the return to work, these brokers are ready to sit down with their clients at a moment’s notice.

BenefitMall, a Dallas-based general agency that works with thousands of brokers nationwide, says the key is product access. BenefitMall themselves represent more than 120 carriers, some of which are uniquely positioned to offer competitive health insurance benefits in the COVID-19 era.

It behooves brokers to work with their general agencies to come up with a basket of products they can present to employers. The more access employers have to more products, the greater the chances that something suitable can be found.

A Brand of Care and Compassion

All of this can be tied together with a good look at what branding is. A company’s brand is its reputation. A brand is that distinct characteristic or feature that sets one company apart from all others. We can apply the same thinking to employer branding. A company’s employer brand is that which makes it stand out in the eyes of job seekers.

Health insurance benefits tie-in as a means of creating a brand that demonstrates care and compassion. Prospective hires want to know that their future employers care about them as people rather than just human resources. They want to know that they are more than just numbers in an HR database.

A strong health insurance program along with generous PTO can do the trick. As employees start returning to work, those are the things they will be looking for in benefits. Thanks to COVID-19, it is no longer just about the money. Now it’s about taking care of your own health as well as that of your family.

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