3 ways to help create more holistic and inclusive benefits

The last few years have changed the way employees view work-life balance, and in turn, what they’ve come to expect from their employers. In many cases, employees are looking for more flexibility in the workplace, but also enhanced offerings when it comes to benefits.

“Whether it’s access to expanded fertility support, family-friendly benefits or benefits specific to the LGBTQ+ community, employers need to take notice if they want to enhance their employee’s health care experience,” said Craig Kurtzweil, chief data & analytics officer with UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual.

A few considerations:

Here are some things to keep in mind to help create a more holistic health plan:

Family-friendly benefits

When people think of family-friendly benefits, the first thing that likely comes to mind is paid parental leave. While that is an important offering for many employees, that concept is now expanding to include benefits that support all families through different stages of life.

That could include:

  • Paid leave for parents for birth, adoption and surrogacy
  • Child and elder care assistance
  • Fertility services for all families, including LGBTQ+
  • College coaching and scholarship opportunities
  • Financial advising or planning
  • Pet insurance

Supporting women’s health

When it comes to supporting the needs of female employees, it may no longer be enough to simply offer maternity leave. In fact, 86% of women say health insurance is one of the top two benefits they look for when considering a new job.
It’s now more common to see plans that look at the continuum of care in women’s health from preconception to post-menopausal care. A recent survey found 37% of companies offer one or more of these benefits.

“We’re hearing from women that they’re looking for expanded maternity benefits, like more ultrasounds covered during pregnancy. But they’re also looking for additional benefits that are tailored to them, that support them postpartum and beyond,” said Chris Swaser, director of strategic insights with UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual.

Embracing diversity, equity and inclusion

Those that make up Gen Z, or those born in the late 90s to early 2000s, are entering the workforce and looking for benefits that fit their needs. Additionally, roughly 20% of the Gen Z population identifies as LGBTQ+, making inclusive benefit offerings more crucial than ever.

Some examples may include:

  • Providing a list of designated providers with experience in transgender care
  • Support for gender identity affirmation when in conflict with gender at birth
  • Adoption support for non-traditional families

Today’s workforce spans multiple generations. It’s important for employers to recognize that when it comes to designing health benefits, one size does not fit all. Recruiting and retaining talent is not just about salary – but also about inclusive benefits that support employees and their families.

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