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4 Last-Minute Creative Employee Perks to Incorporate This Open Enrollment

Like many of my fellow Vermonters, I love outdoor activities and during the height of the pandemic, it was one of the few activities safe enough to enjoy freely. Hike-bike-ski-paddle is my motto, giving me something fun to do in all four seasons.

A few years ago, after a lovely paddle on the fourth of July, I was carrying my kayak back to the truck when I tripped over a stump and fell down hard. I landed on my kayak – and my left thumb. The kayak was fine, but my thumb was definitely not. In the ER, I was relieved to learn it was dislocated and not broken. After the ER doc relocated it, I spent four weeks in a splint and was as good as new. But it was while my husband was driving me to the ER that I reminded him, “we need to file an accident claim!”

When the hospital bill arrived, I scanned and uploaded it along with a claim form to our accident carrier, and a couple of weeks later, got $250 direct deposited into my checking account. It didn’t cover my entire ER bill, but it definitely helped.

This experience has made me a raving fan of accident insurance. It is easy to use and very inexpensive. A dislocated thumb is a relatively minor injury, but the payment amounts can be significant depending on the severity of the event. And best of all – it can be offered to employees with no employer contribution. Almost everyone is going to experience an accidental injury at some point in time, and for a few dollars a week, can receive a helpful cash infusion when that happens.

For many employers, benefits renewal time is right around the corner, which means many employers are thinking long and hard about their health plans. While health insurance is the biggest budget item when it comes to benefits, there are plenty of low-cost, high-value benefits that go a long way in increasing employee loyalty and engagement during the benefits selection process.

Here are 4 last-minute creative benefits to incorporate in your plan design:

  1. Accident Insurance

    Easy to use and inexpensive, this can help pay for the medical and out-of-pocket costs that may incur after an accidental injury. This can be offered alongside an existing life or disability policy, or as a standalone policy paid for by the employees, often at no additional charge for the employer.

  2. ID Theft Protection

    If you don’t realize your information is for sale on the web, let me be the one to break it to you. For most of us, it’s just a matter of time before our personal information is breached, meaning a stranger could steal your identity, take out a loan in your name, or worse. ID Theft Protection is low cost and gives your employees access to credit monitoring services, as well as legal advice in the event of an ID theft event. It is an absolute must in the technology age.

  3. Hearing Aids/LASIK

    Most health plans do not provide coverage for hearing aids or LASIK eye surgery. Offering a policy for one or both of these valuable benefits is generally less than $5 per employee per month and could be greatly appreciated by someone who needed either. Helping an employee who is hard of hearing or has vision problems sends an important message about inclusion and accommodation and could make the difference between keeping and losing a valuable team member.

  4. Telemedicine

    Our health insurance protects us against big injuries and illnesses. But what about those minor things that happen to all of us, like an eye infection or a stomach virus? Do you really want to take a day off work, drive to the doctor (assuming they can even get you in), find a place to park, sit in the waiting room for an hour, and then drive home? What if you could consult a doctor right from your smartphone and have a prescription called into your nearest pharmacy? This is the reality of telemedicine. For minor health issues, it saves time, money, and aggravation for your employees and is a must-have for those employees who are used to doing everything on their phones.

All of these benefits are available for less than $10 per employee per month, and some can be employee-paid meaning they cost the employer nothing. But the value they deliver in terms of employee appreciation is priceless. If you are facing a tough medical renewal this year, adding one or more of these perks might really help your employees appreciate the value of their benefits.

Want to learn more about other inventive or unique benefits offerings? Contact your OneDigital Strategist today, or visit the OneDigital Open Enrollment Hub to discover how to enhance your employees’ open enrollment experience.