COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation for all of us. Personal lives and business operations have been disrupted, and it feels as though this is the start of a new normal. Thinking through the details of COVID-19 often leaves us with more questions than answers. At this time, employers and employees are taking the brunt of that impact, from reduced hours and closed worksites to possible exposure to the virus and ongoing health risks. Providing employee benefits during a healthcare crisis is crucial.
Providing Care When It Counts
The ‘novel’ coronavirus has certainly earned its name. Everything about this global pandemic is challenging and new. Understandably, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has most employees feeling fearful about their own health and the health of their families. Offering employee benefits is crucial because it provides comfort and shows that an employer prioritizes investment in the health and overall well-being of its employees. As always, offering competitive employee benefits translate into attracting and retaining top talent. Thoughtful employee benefits also often translate into a healthier workforce, reduced healthcare costs, and increased productivity.
Employee Benefits Help Prepare for the Worst
A unique challenge about COVID-19 is that the we need to look beyond just recovering from the virus itself. Preventative practices like self-quarantine and social distancing are a good start, but there is still much that is unknown about the virus, such as the identity and extent of symptoms, the development of antibodies in those who have been infected, the limits of what damage the disease does and how if affects different age groups, and whether an adequate or preventive vaccination treatment can be developed and how long it will take. It is recommended that a person who may have been exposed to the virus, or that is suffering from or recovering from the virus should remain quarantined for up to fourteen (14) days from the date of the last symptom.
Employee benefits can do more than simply respond to the challenges of COVID-19 with necessary medication. Healthcare benefits provide necessary ways for an employee to have the ability to seek out care. From a visit to your primary care doctor to mental health counseling, and treatment for underlying issues, employee benefits are a very important part of responding to a public health crisis. Telemedicine benefits are another option available that enables employees to access healthcare from the safety of their homes, while practicing self-quarantine and social distancing. Certain employee benefits, such as short-term disability benefits, can act as a safety net, for a worst-case scenario, such as an employee that becomes sick when there is no sick leave available.
Options to Fit Your Needs
Each employer/employee situation is different and that’s especially true now. Different worksites will be impacted by COVID-19 in different ways. Fortunately, there are several options for employee benefits that can be flexible and fitted to the needs of your business.
Medical benefits offer peace of mind and get employees the healthcare access they need in these times. Hour banking options help those who are experiencing diminished work hours and limited worksite access, to the detriment of the benefits.
The Importance of Employee Benefits
The outbreak of the coronavirus represents a new challenge. Now more than ever, employees find themselves in need of support and care. Employee benefits are just one part of the solution, but the value they bring cannot be understated.
Employers who invest in their employees’ health will reap the benefits in the long run.
We’re in this together.
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