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Inside the rapidly changing world of benefits

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Note from the editor

When employers look for innovative ways to attract and retain workers while simultaneously cutting costs, benefits tend to emerge as the answer.

But the benefits landscape shifts each year, and the pandemic brought an unprecedented level of disruption. Despite that uncertainty, the experts say one thing is clear: Those who are able to customize benefits for both workers and workforces will be well-positioned to leverage such offerings in the future, regardless of the problem they aim to solve.

This report details multiple aspects of that issue, including:

  • How the pandemic confirmed virtual care's importance;
  • Why emergency savings are crucial for benefit plans;
  • How to approach open enrollment during a pandemic; and
  • Whether employers are holding onto fitness benefits.

These are just a few of the many aspects of employee benefits that employers are thinking about. We hope you enjoy this deep dive into the current trends.

Kate Tornone Lead Editor

Pandemic leaves large employers with 'no doubt' about virtual care's importance

Though telehealth and similar services have gained traction for years, COVID-19 has accelerated that trend, said the Business Group on Health's president and CEO.

After COVID-19, emergency savings may be even more important for benefit plans

The pandemic-induced recession has forced many to access their long-term savings to combat short-term financial pressures, sources told HR Dive.

'Posters aren't going to cut it': Open enrollment in a pandemic

DirectPath's Kim Buckey offered communication tips for practitioners heading into open enrollment season.

Fitness benefits moved online during COVID-19 — but will they stay there?

Companies largely haven't cut back on fitness classes, citing cultural and employee-health concerns as cause for continued investment, sources told HR Dive.

From wellness to well-being: the evolution of employer health initiatives

What started as yoga classes and smoking cessation programs has evolved into something more holistic and wide-reaching.

Frustrated employers buck status quo, leave insurers for riskier arrangements

"In a nutshell, has it been an easy two to three years? No. But it has to be the way we go because healthcare costs are just going absolutely stupid," the owner of a North Carolina auto group said.

The evolving benefits landscape

Despite the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, organizations that customize benefits for both workers and workforces will be well-positioned to leverage such offerings in the future, regardless of the problem they aim to solve.

included in this trendline
  • Why emergency savings are crucial for benefit plans
  • How to approach open enrollment during a pandemic
  • What employers are doing for fitness benefits
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.