Providing greater flexibility, more service options and integrated digital solutions will continue to be the way forward in protecting and promoting employee health and wellness in a post-pandemic world, says Alaina MacKenzie, Regional Vice-President, Business Development at Medavie Blue Cross.
Benefits that were once thought of as nice-to-haves — optional benefits and personal wellness and/or health spending accounts — are now becoming a standard part of a broader, more flexible approach to plan design that enhances member choice and puts them in the driver’s seat of their health care, she says.
“We are seeing more and more employers looking to complement their employee benefit offerings with further optional solutions, because one size doesn't fit all anymore.”
The ability to complement base coverage is increasingly important. According to a recent survey commissioned by Medavie Blue Cross, 82% of Canadians worry that their finances would be impacted if they experienced a critical illness or major injury. Yet most full-time employees do not have critical illness insurance.
Optional Benefits is digital solution designed by Medavie Blue Cross that allows employees to enhance their coverage, protect themselves from the financial impact of a sudden, serious injury or illness and plan long term. Optional coverages include critical illness, accidental death and dismemberment and life insurance.
Two trends that are fuelling transformative change in health care and insurance are the personalization of benefits and advancements in technology.
“The speed with which we've seen digital health services evolve over the last 12 months has been incredible. We have gone from visiting the doctor’s office to accessing virtual care for acute, situational type issues and now to chronic disease management, where people are realizing that they can receive quality care from the comfort of their home.”
Medavie Blue Cross recently launched a virtual Diabetes Care program providing plan members access to an integrated digital program and coaching service to help them manage their disease.
Digital options for mental health support are also an important trend to help employees access services anytime, anywhere.
“Services like digital therapy (iCBT), personalized medicine (pharmacogenetic testing) and access to a broader range of health professionals are reducing some of the barriers to accessing care – cost, convenience and stigma.”