Expanding employee benefits: Mental health and wellness
Published on February 11th, 2021
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.
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.