Rhode Island is a top state for job searchers – number six in the nation – which means employers have to do everything they can to attract and hire candidates in a highly competitive market. One of the most effective ways to appeal to prospective employees is by offering comprehensive benefits packages that are tailored to the modern worker and their family.

At Point32Health and our family of companies, including Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, we recognize the value of providing health benefit offerings that meet and exceed expectations of a diverse workforce. To do that, we must stay on top of, and ahead of, the latest health benefit trends to ensure our offering are on par with what your employees require to support their whole health needs.

Some of the trends we are monitoring include:

Focusing on family and caregiver-friendly benefits

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We recognize that many working adults often have two jobs — their career and their role as a caregiver. In fact, 43.5 million Americans have served as unpaid caregivers to an adult or child in the last year. These added responsibilities often come with additional stress that can sometimes impact a person’s ability to bring their best selves to work. To help employees living with these unique family dynamics, many employers are looking to expand their family-friendly and caregiving benefits in the coming year.

From offering backup childcare services to paid parental leave, employers can better assist their employees by offering support that addresses the needs of a growing “Sandwich Generation” through the introduction of care concierge benefits. These services help with finding and booking medical support for aging relatives, ultimately lightening the load for caregivers.

Improving flexibility in support of total well-being

More than ever, supporting the emotional and physical well-being of employees matters—and having strong behavioral health benefits and resources are some of the most important benefits employers can offer. To accomplish that, many employers are choosing benefits plans that ensure access to 24/7 behavioral health support, provide employees with self-service options, and include virtual therapy services to meet employees where they are in their behavioral health journey.

There are also more indirect ways employers can help employees reduce stress. According to a study by Mercer, more employers are adopting flexible schedules for better-work life integration in 2023. This can mean four-day work weeks and the ability to work from home regularly (over 78% of employers), along with more outside-the-box ideas like paid time off to volunteer, which has been proven to have numerous mental health benefits.

Addressing health disparities for diverse groups

When it comes to closing the gap in access to care, organizations are making strides to better support a diverse workforce—including ethnic groups, women, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ and those with disabilities. To do that, more employers are integrating tailored benefits into their offerings, such as specialized behavioral health care support for diverse groups, as well as inclusive family care support and women’s reproductive health support.

The workplace and workforce continue to evolve. Inclusiveness, equity and flexibility are more important than ever. Employers and payers can rise to the challenge together by delivering benefits that support a diverse employee population’s need.

Point32Health was created when Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan combined in 2021. Since then, we have proudly served New England and beyond together, guiding and empowering healthier lives for all. As Harvard Pilgrim becomes the carrier for commercial products in Rhode Island, Tufts Health Plan will remain the carrier for Medicaid eligible members. Through our family of companies, we will be better able to provide complete health support for people through all stages of life.