Vision and dental benefits could be difference-makers in employee recruitment and retention – Atlanta Business Chronicle – Atlanta Business Chronicle

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed employee expectations about work in many ways, including their view of benefits.
Research by the consulting firm LIMRA shows that employees now place greater importance on benefits and are examining their needs more closely. This has driven employees to add or increase benefits, with life insurance, medical insurance and dental insurance becoming the top three, LIMRA says.
Seven of 10 employees say dental insurance is a must-have, according to MetLife’s 2021 Employee Benefit Trends Study. That places dental insurance fourth among all benefits, behind only health insurance, 401(k) plans and paid and unpaid leave.
COVID-19 has changed employee expectations
Dental and vision insurance are two of the voluntary benefits with the strongest enrollments because employees see them as affordable and important. “The pandemic has changed employee expectations in big and small ways,” said Ellen Sexton, senior vice president of specialty for Humana “People are re-examining the way they take care of their bodies and understand that dental and vision health are an important part of their overall wellness.”
Employees expect employers to feel similarly. “It’s time to stop thinking of dental and vision as ‘extras,’” Sexton said. “For whole-person health, they’re essential.”
In a competitive labor market, a strong employee benefits package can tip the scales
Employers could lose or struggle to attract talent if their benefits do not evolve. In an increasingly competitive labor market, workers are resigning at record rates and expect to find a better opportunity elsewhere, if they have not already. As a result, employers are struggling with labor shortages.
“From caring for their eyes or teeth to managing stress or losing weight, employees want to feel better, and they appreciate employers who help them do so,” Sexton said. “Offering competitive wages, a strong benefits package that includes dental and vision, and an emphasis on work-life balance are key things potential and existing employees are seeking now.”
What employers should consider with vision and dental benefits
Though benefits are not the only reason people take or leave jobs, the insurance options employers offer often influence decision-making. Looking for every advantage to enhance their employee recruitment and retention efforts, many employers are shoring up their vision and dental insurance with plans that exceed expectations.
For example, Humana’s dental insurance includes three routine cleanings, exams and X-rays annually in their preventive care coverage, while most other plans only cover up to two preventive care visits a year. Also, unlike most dental plans, which typically limit the benefits employees and covered family members receive in a year, Humana offers extended and unlimited annual maximum options that let members get affordable dental care even after they’ve met their annual maximum.
Humana’s vision insurance covers an in-network annual exam with dilation for no more than $10. And, on most plans, members with diabetes can get specialized diabetic eye care and testing twice a year at no additional cost.
Humana’s dental and vision offerings represent low-cost additions to employee benefits. “Employers can choose to fund a portion of the benefits, or choose 100% employee-paid coverage. “This enables employers to offer the benefits and partner with their employees for the cost,” said Hayley Doran, vice president of Specialty Group Practice for Humana.
Plus, Humana incentivizes employees to use their preventive benefits with their Go365 program. “With Go365, employees get points just for going to the dentist or for getting an eye exam, which can be redeemed for rewards like Amazon and Target gift cards,” Doran said.
Workers appreciate such wellness programs that incentivize healthy choices, said Doran. “Our employers are not just offering specialty benefits. By offering incentives to encourage employees to use their benefits, they’re choosing a more human way to healthcare. Human care is everything you’d expect from a dental and vision plan, plus more.”
Employees often demonstrate appreciation in their performance. Workers who value their benefits are more engaged and productive than those who do not, Doran said. “Employees tend to do their best work and remain with employers longer when they feel valued and are happy and healthy.”
Employee expectations about their health benefits are changing. To learn more about how employers are dealing with this business challenge, watch Humana’s free webinar: COVID-19 impact on employee productivity, vision and oral health. You can also visit Humana’s employer benefits page to get additional details on Humana’s dental and vision products, and to contact a licensed Humana sales agent.
Humana is committed to helping its millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Its successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs.
This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, financial, or other professional advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. You should consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.
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