To say that 2020 has been a complex year for many organizations and individuals would be an understatement - it has been transformational. A work environment gone remote has required employers to modify their communications strategy and prioritize their messaging to prevent employee communication burnout. The struggle becomes how to fit in important benefits programs updates amongst all of your other priorities, especially since 41% of employees are concerned about infrequent communications regarding their benefits.
Fortunately, we have compiled a list of employee benefits topics below, which you can succinctly feature within your broader internal communications strategy. Take an opportunity to remind employees of the valuable programs and resources you offer that may have slipped their minds throughout this past year.
- Preventive Care Appointments: COVID-19 put a pause on many in-person interactions, including preventive care appointments. If employees are comfortable, they should make the most of this year’s benefits and schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor, a cleaning with their dentist, or an eye exam!
- Mental Health Resources: From lack of in-person socializing to new public health requirements, employees have experienced immense change in a short amount of time due to COVID-19. Undergoing this rapid change may have led to increased stressed, anxiety, or other forms of distress. Educate your employees on the available tools and resources to support their mental and emotional wellbeing, especially when the stress of the holidays can exacerbate any existing conditions.
- Flu Vaccine: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges the use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine during this influenza season. Encourage employees to stay up-to-date on key facts about the seasonal flu vaccine and identify where they can receive a flu vaccine near them.
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Funds Extension: Earlier this year, the IRS provided guidance that allows employees to continue to incur expenses and submit reimbursement for medical expenses or dependent care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020 against their FSA. It’s important employees are aware of this extension and use their funds while they can.
- Health Saving Account (HSA) Limits: Employees can maximize their HSA and increase their payroll deductions or contribute more on post-tax basis, up to $3,550 for employee-only coverage and $7,100 for employees with dependent coverage in 2020. This increases the benefit of their tax-advantaged savings vehicle and their funds roll over year after year!
- Retirement Contributions: Due to economic calamity and potential weariness of economic stability, many employees may have put their 401(k) contributions on pause early in the pandemic and may not have adjusted them back. Remind employees to readjust and get the most out of their retirement account by increasing their contributions.
Before the end of the year arrives, make sure your employees know about the valuable resources and coverage options available through your benefits program. If you need assistance with a communication strategy, get in touch with us.
1 Health Advocate (2016) Striking a Health Balance. What Employees Really Want out of Workplace Benefits Communications. Retrieved from https://www.healthadvocate.com/_mobile/downloads/communications-pdfs/b2b/whitepages_striking_a_balance.pdf