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Three Voluntary Benefits Trends to Watch in 2023

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Benefits have always been crucial for attracting and retaining top performers, and voluntary benefits are a great way for employers to enhance their offerings. These extra perks allow for more personalization that can help satisfy the unique needs of each worker, especially in today’s multigenerational workforce.

Although individual needs vary, some common themes — physical, mental and financial wellness — are universal. Employers can help address these pressing issues by offering expanded voluntary benefits.

A rising number of organizations recognize that voluntary benefits are beneficial to employees and their families — and many come at little to no cost for the employer. This article highlights three important voluntary benefits trends for 2023.

1. Emphasis on holistic voluntary benefits offerings

The voluntary benefits market has steadily expanded in recent years and will continue to grow in 2023. According to a Willis Towers Watson survey, nearly all employers (94%) say voluntary benefits will be important to their talent and total rewards strategies over the next two years. Back in 2018, just 36% of employers felt that way. It’s expected that more employers this year will offer a wide range of voluntary benefits options to meet the needs of their current and prospective employees.

Dental and vision care continue to be standard voluntary benefits. However, Americans face a different landscape shaped by nearly three years of the COVID-19 pandemic and persistent economic uncertainty. As a result, nontraditional offerings like critical illness, hospital indemnity, pet insurance, identity theft and group legal benefits are becoming popular.

One of the best perks of voluntary benefits is that they are, in fact, optional, so employees can opt for the coverage that matters most to them. As a result, more organizations may design benefits packages that provide a range of options. Since employees often face unique stressors or challenges, employers can offer a wide array of benefits or services to support their workforces. Supplemental offerings could be precisely what employees need to fill in coverage gaps.

2. Increased financial wellness support

Money is a top stressor for employees ─ and a possible looming recession has reinforced that. Finance-related voluntary benefits can support employees with valuable financial guidance and educational resources. Increasingly popular financial wellness benefits include retirement savings plans, safety net insurance, emergency savings funds, student loan repayment and financial planning or coaching.

When employees experience less financial stress, employers can expect to see greater employee productivity, better morale and lower absenteeism. Economic recovery from the pandemic will take some time, but voluntary benefits could help decrease employees’ financial stress.

3. Expanded remote health services

The pandemic and its lingering effects have undoubtedly increased employee stress, depression and anxiety. As a result, employees need more mental health support than ever before. In addition, many employees may have put off preventive care or other healthcare services during the pandemic and are still catching up on routine care.

One way employers can combat those issues is to help make remote health services more accessible and affordable. Telemedicine and remote health services can increase access to physical and mental health resources and treatment. Telemedicine services have proven to be a valuable and cost-effective way to receive medical care from the comfort of home. Employers will want to consider working with their health plans to adopt or expand their telemedicine offerings.

Summary

Voluntary benefits are helpful add-ons that can round out any benefits package. They help provide value to employees without raising employers’ costs, making them powerful tools. These extra perks also allow for more personalization to help satisfy each worker’s unique needs.

More employees are looking to protect their health, safety and finances, but might need some help or guidance to get started on their goals. Employers should consider exploring voluntary benefits to round off their current offerings.

Reach out to HANYS Benefit Services to learn more about the power of voluntary benefits.

This Benefits Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. © 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

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