Employers reconsider health benefits, costs amid remote work, labor struggles

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As employers brace for an approximately 5 percent increase in health benefit costs, many are exploring ways to cut costs amid challenges like remote work and a difficult labor market. 

Some employers are rolling out food delivery benefits, health club memberships and doulas for pregnant employees while simultaneously preparing for a surge in serious health issues, as the pandemic strains mental health and delays screenings, according to The New York Times

In the face of labor shortages, some employers are wary about increasing health premiums. 

A third of employers with over 20,000 employees told Mercer they would reduce how much employees paid in health premiums, according to the Times. Seventeen percent said they would increase it. 

Employers are also approaching premium payments in a new light. 

Financial services company Synchrony is using a tiered system where different tiers of employees pay different premiums for the same coverage. The company has seen consistent enrollment rates across tiers, despite the varying premiums. 

Employers are also shifting to digital formats not only for telehealth but to communicate benefits to employees, according to the Times.

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