With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, telemedicine is proving to be an increasingly valuable tool for employers to have as part of their health benefits plan.
Virtual doctor’s visits make it easier for doctors and patients to connect. Patients are more likely to seek care at the first signs of illness when a visit is as simple as scheduling a video chat at a convenient time. In turn, this can better their chances for a complete and speedy recovery.
In addition, trying to take time off from work for a doctor’s appointment can be challenging, not to mention inconvenient. And for those who live in remote areas with limited access to medical treatment, the trip to an in-office medical appointment can be even more challenging.
So, how does it work?
The threat of COVID-19 appears to be flattening and companies are looking at ways to safely bring employees back into the workplace. And while it’s important to figure out how to enforce social distancing and keep work areas sanitized, the psychological challenges of working during a pandemic should not be underestimated.
Mental health experts recommend that employers pay particular attention to employees’ mental health.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that one in five adults in the United States will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. The effects of mental illness often seep into the workplace. The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S. adults who have mental illness, and the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that the annual cost of depression is estimated at $44 billion in lost productivity to American companies.
Ways to promote good mental health in your place of business include:
Health insurance and other employee benefits often seem to be a point of contention rather than filling the purpose they were created for: to attract and keep the best employees and to create an optimistic atmosphere of productivity in the workplace. So, recast your vision and think differently about your benefits.
Make benefits about more than products, deductibles and copayments.
It’s time to sell the benefit of your benefits. What if you spent as much time on the execution of a benefits presentation for your employees as you do on choosing plan designs and contribution levels? There is an enormous advantage for employees when their small business employer offers a robust benefits package. Two things people care about when it comes to their benefits package is convenience and cost.
The answer to this question is a resounding “Yes!”
Let me start by saying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was set up as an option to help more people afford, and have access to, health insurance. Though it did increase the number of insured people in the early days of the ACA, small business owners found it increasingly difficult to find anything affordable about the plan. ACA rate increases have made coverage unaffordable for many small employers. Insurance companies responded to this by creating options for small business owners outside of the ACA that still are qualified health plans.
A “new” plan that arrived on the scene soon after the advent of the ACA is really not new at all. It’s been around for some time now. The new option available to small business owners is called “level funding” and can save small businesses significant money while still providing an excellent health plan for employees.
Welcome to The Allied Blog
Founded in 1970, Allied National is one of the nation's oldest and most experienced third-party administrators. We're the small group benefit experts working to provide unique and affordable group health benefits to small business employers.