Expanding employee benefits: Mental health and wellness

As people have adapted to new work/life realities, isolation, or trying to mange at-home schooling with at-home work, it comes as no surprise that anxiety levels are heightened and the issues people face have become more complex. This new reality has contributed to a shift in the expectations people have of their employer and the benefits that they are offered. Mental health and wellness benefits have become increasingly valuable and sought-after over the past year. And with this greater demand, employers are beginning to examine their benefits packages to include a more complete offering that spans health, mental health, and financial health. We surveyed consumers on this topic, and here is what we found.

Explore more of this theme in the 2021 Health Benefits Outlook.

Mental Health Employee Benefits

Text-only version:

 

Expanding employee benefits

COVID-19 brought mental health and wellness to the forefront of employer-sponsored health insurance.

The pandemic has increased consumer expectations when it comes to employer-sponsored health benefits.

  • 39% of consumers are more interested in attractive benefit options1

 

Mental health benefits remain a fringe benefit at many companies.

  • 42% of consumers say their employer doesn’t offer mental health benefits
  • 22% don’t know if these benefits are available to them

 

Consumers value mental health benefits – and expect employers to, as well.

  • 76% of consumers agree or strongly agree that employers have a responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their employees
  • 67% say mental health benefits are somewhat or very important to them.

 

Consumers increasingly see employers as responsible for fostering happiness

  • 61% of consumers agree or strongly agree that employers have a responsibility for the happiness and wellbeing of their employees

 

Consumers expect employers to provide the following wellness benefits:

  • 54% – Wellness initiatives (such as mental health apps and fitness challenges)
  • 47% – Physical fitness (such as gym memberships)
  • 46% – Free lunch or snacks
  • 26% – A debit card of funds to use for lifestyle needs
  • 23% – On-site yoga/meditation

 

Consumers consider financial benefits a part of overall health and wellbeing.

  • 57% of consumers agree or strongly agree that employers have a responsibility for the financial wellbeing of their employees, beyond salary
  • 63% say their employer does not offer financial benefits of any kind

 

Consumers think employers should provide the following financial benefits:

  • 54% – Training/courses on how to select the right benefits
  • 40% – Training/courses on budgeting and how to save
  • 38% – Training/courses on how to invest
  • 37% – One-on-one financial counseling/advising
  • 32% – An app that tracks financial progress and offers insight/recommendations

 

1Stat gathered from an Alegeus survey of 1,000 consumers in August 2020.

All other data gathered from an Alegeus survey of 1,000 consumers in November 2020.

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