Tag: employee benefits

Adapting to Changing Workforce Trends in a Post COVID-19 Environment

Coronavirus-19 forced us to time travel to a workforce that may have developed gradually over the next few decades but became the new norm almost overnight. We watched a rapid shift to virtual work and education as well. The recovery isn’t over, but businesses must continue to adapt to the changing workforce trends. 

Addressing Evolving Recovery Concerns

The workforce reacted and responded to the pandemic with unprecedented levels of flexibility, new partnerships and adaptability in just weeks. Businesses experienced rapidly evolving organizational priorities.

Given the severity, intensity and impact on both employees and business, the recovery for workforce strategies moving forward requires actions based upon informed and continuous reflection.

Reflection

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Index shows 65% of business owners were optimistic that the worst of the pandemic passed by mid-year 2021. But, employers’ are now reflecting on the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

The contagious virus is not necessarily the top concern for organizations looking forward. After almost a year and a half of quickly shifting and adapting to the situation, other issues like sustainability, navigating a hybrid work environment, and competing for talent are taking precedence.   

Employers are more vigilant than ever in reflecting on what has worked during the pandemic and which opportunities were missed. In reflecting upon the changing workforce, employers are bringing in the employees’ perspectives and concerns. 

Prioritize Human Resources

Looking forward, businesses are choosing different operational models and alternate resources to use dependent on the employer/employee situation. Businesses and employees are able to focus on addressing

  • Individuals or families contracting the Delta virus
  • Compliance with ever-changing laws and regulations
  • Job protection/reduced layoffs

These pressing business and workforce priorities pivot around human resource departments to address concerns regarding compliance for the safety and protection of their employees to increase productivity, so businesses can financially benefit. 

One of the major contributing factors to these concerns is financial stress and limited resources which affects employee productivity. A never-ending cycle of reflection on alternative options and prioritization is required to keep businesses moving in the right direction. It’s all cyclical. Cornerstone Insurance is here to help provide you with solutions and clear direction to create an exceptional HR team

Improving Employee Well-Being

Focusing on the physical, psychological, and financial concerns of your employees through employee well-being and benefits has a positive and significant impact on COVID-19 recovery. 

Flexibility

Employers need to recognize the diversity of workers’ individual expectations and support them in the transition to recovery, which includes being flexible. Workers may return to onsite work, but others may continue to work remotely. Some will adopt a hybrid approach.

Organizations need to help prepare employees with the skills and capabilities required for such a wide range of workforce approaches and practices to address a worker’s mental and emotional health.  

The evolving recovery will require a shift in focus to new priorities, new work routines and schedules. How organizations prepare and support their workforces will be a key driver to workforce performance and retaining talent. 

The Growing Importance of Benefits

Employers are challenged to attract and retain the workforce they need. Employee benefits can play a pivotal role because they provide protection and support when employees need it most. 

As we approach a new benefits enrollment period, now is the perfect time to reflect on what your employees utilize or require to address their concerns that could be impacting their productivity during this COVID-19 recovery period.

Custom Benefits Packages

Employers know  a benefits package that is customized to employees’ personal and household needs are: 

  • 18% more likely to be productive
  • 36% more likely to feel engaged
  • 37% more likely to feel resilient
  • 45% more likely to feel motivated
  • 54% more likely to feel valued/appreciated

Many employers can optimize their benefits strategy without significantly affecting the budget but reaping the tremendous impacts, and Cornerstone Insurance Group can help you find solutions

Clear Communication

Cornerstone values the importance of employee education of your benefits program. The value of traditional benefits like health insurance and retirement savings are well-known, but employees may need additional insights to help them recognize how other options can provide just as much support and enhance their financial security. 

Cornerstone Insurance can help you determine the best way to adopt an employee-centric approach to benefits as well as a clear communication strategy to help your employees reap the most from what you can and do offer. 

With a commitment to your team and your business, we can help you navigate the evolving recovery and to adapt to the continuous changes in workforce trends to emerge stronger than ever. 

Are you ready for your business to thrive on the “new normal?” Contact Cornerstone Insurance today with any questions or inquiries. We’re here to help.

Pharmacy Benefit Managers: What Are They and How Can They Help?

Prescription drugs can be exceptionally costly, and prices continue to be on the rise. According to Bloomberg, Americans spend an average of $1,200 per person per year on prescription drugs — more than anyone else in the world. 

But there are ways you can help employees drive these costs down. One of those ways is leveraging a pharmacy benefit manager to control your healthcare spending and make your employee benefits more affordable.

What is a Pharmacy Benefit Manager?

Pharmacy benefit managers (or PBMs) are companies that can help manage your prescription drug benefits on behalf of health insurers, Medicare Part D drug plans, large employers and more. 

By mediating between insurers and other members of the healthcare industry, PBMs can help negotiate customer contracts to get the best rates, ultimately helping employees prioritize their wellness without unnecessary costs. 

How Can a Pharmacy Benefit Manager Help My Business?

At Cornerstone, our clients that are self-funded or have an interest in creating a solution to reduce their prescription drug spend may benefit greatly from working with pharmacy benefit managers. 

PBMs are “behind-the-scenes” negotiators to control drug spending and lower medication costs for your employees. Our clients often see 30 to 35% — often as high as 50% — of their claims costs coming from prescription drugs. An effective PBM and management program can be implemented to save your employees hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How Does Cornerstone Work With Pharmacy Benefit Managers?

As an employee benefits company, Cornerstone works with several PBMs directly to ensure the correct fit for our self-funded clients. We will personally “shop” for the right pharmacy benefit manager for your needs.

You may have lots of questions regarding prescription drug coverage, such as:

  • How are these prescriptions covered? 
  • How are rebates from the manufacturer handled?
  • How do you determine which drugs are eligible for the rebates?
  • What type of clinical management programs are used in conjunction with the prescription drug list to ensure the best fit and correct dosage?

By working with insurance consultants like Cornerstone, we can help you have these conversations — and more — with your PBM. We have access to the tools, knowledge, expertise and relationships to ensure our self-funded clients have the right PBM to keep them as competitive as possible while offering high-quality benefits to their employees.

Cornerstone’s benefits administration specialists also have the technology that can analyze your business’s healthcare claims to know exactly how your benefits are being used so you can rest assured we’re making the best-educated decision for our clients’ programs.

Data analytics continues to be an extremely effective tool for managing claims within a self-funded client and having an efficient PBM can continue to drive your costs down.

Healthcare and employee benefits administration can be complex. Let Cornerstone’s experts help your company find the best rates so your employees can stay happy and healthy. Get in touch today.

5 Employee Wellness Benefits You Should Offer

There’s been a brighter spotlight on employee benefits in the last few years, especially in terms of employee wellness benefits

In order to better retain and recruit employees — as well as stay competitive in your industry — consider revising your employee wellness benefits. 

What Employee Wellness Benefits You Should Consider

The pandemic has surfaced a need for more wellness benefits than ever. If you’re considering revising your employee benefits offering, take a look at the following trends. 

A Focus on Mental Health

Employee assistance programs can include more coverage for telehealth counseling, phone calls with counselors, and more. Removing the barriers between employees and their access to mental health providers should be a standard part of employee benefits. 

In addition to this, more workplaces are offering educational resources for employees on mental health to raise awareness for it in the office. 

Telehealth Coverage and Offerings

Even when things return to normal (or our new definition of it), there are many people who have grown to prefer the remote option for appointments. 

Whether it’s mental health resources or a family care practitioner, many physicians have sorted out how to best meet their patients’ needs for non-emergency situations. Make sure your employees’ appointments are still covered, whether in-person or virtual and that they’re informed about what’s available to them. 

Flexible Schedules and Locations

In addition to having remote access to healthcare providers, many employees have found to be more productive working from home than being in the office. If this is an option for your company, consider creating a more flexible work environment permanently. 

Whether this means certain days that are WFH, employees have the option to WFH when they want to, or some kind of combination approach, allowing employees to work from where they feel most comfortable and accomplished could give you the competitive edge. 

Emphasis on Holistic Well-being

Traditional employee wellness benefits may cover medical appointments and procedures, but there’s more to health than just access to treatment. Having a more holistic approach may involve a focus on work-life balance, encourage exercise (for example, covering gym or fitness studio memberships), and others.

Expanded Financial Wellness Resources

Financial-related concerns are the number-one source of anxiety for people. This is now the time, if you don’t already, to provide your employees with sufficient financial planning resources. Consider matching 401K contributions, helping pay student loans, or holding workshops to better educate employees on what’s available to them.

Employees are more likely to be engaged with their work and prepared to handle any hurdles that come their way if these resources are in place. 

For more insights on employee wellness and benefits, be sure to follow along with Cornerstone’s blog. Are you ready to restructure your employee benefits offerings? Contact Cornerstone Insurance Group today.