There’s no doubt that family benefits of any kind carry the ability to influence the family structure, helping to contribute towards the development of overall society. In the United States, and many other developed nations, government efforts to provide proper family benefits and health care services with the assistance of taxpayers, help to improve family dynamics and alleviate costs.
At the start of the pandemic, government stimulus packages contributed largely to the overall financial well-being of some families. But over time, as stimulus checks start running out, and now some are hoping for a fourth stimulus check on the horizon – the looks are looking ever so slim each day.
Now as some are facing the hardships caused by the pandemic, with the rising cost of goods and services, and the soaring rate of inflation, choosing the right family benefits, whether offered by private companies or perhaps the government, is becoming increasingly important as government efforts have lacked much traction in recent months.
American Employees struggle to manage workplace stress
Due to many companies cutting down on employee benefits such as Medicare, dental insurance, 401(k) plans, and an assortment of other in-house benefits, a majority of American employees are seeing their mental health deteriorating as time passes.
According to a recent report, the federal crisis hotline, operated by the Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration noted an increase of more than 300% in calls from stressed and overworked employees since February 2020.
The same report revealed several factors which contribute to U.S. workplace management stress. These include employee turnover rate, rising working hours, costing change in needs of employees, and the attention to occupational safety and new health regulations, among others.
Some companies have managed to remain resilient throughout the pandemic, but with the advent of remote work and work-from-home orders, there’s now a majority of employers who are more willing to cut back on employee benefits when workers are willing to work remotely.
While 1 in 4 Americans will be working from home by 2025, there’s an upside to how the pandemic has changed the work environment, and how employees view their current family-related benefits. Prioritizing family benefits means that employees are willing to do more than required, and will in some cases even remain longer at their current job.
Considerations when Choosing Family Benefits
This might not be the case for everyone, but as we move into a new spectrum of how important family benefits are, employees and families should take into consideration a few things before choosing what benefits they require.
Dental Insurance and Dental Coverage
According to a recent survey, more than 51% of surveyed HR professionals and hiring managers claim that best dental insurance is among the most effective and attractive employee benefits to attract new candidates.
According to the latest statistics, more than 60% of Americans paid for dental procedures out-of-pocket in 2019. The cost of dental procedures has become increasingly expensive over the last few years, with the deductible cost of medical insurance partially or completely covered by employers increasing more than 68% since 2011.
Employees with families, and those paying for a majority of their dental procedures also saw their premiums increase by 4% between 2020 and 2021.
Dental insurance offered by employers in some cases won’t cover the spouse or children of the employee. Recent research indicates that more than 80% of American children aged between 7 and 18 will require some form of orthodontic and dental procedures when growing up.
This brings to light how important dental insurance, while partially or completely covered by employers or insurance companies, is seeing more attention as the rising cost of medical care have edged families to tighten their medical budgets for the new year.
Medical Leave Benefits
While many look to have the best medical insurance and health benefits offered by employers or third-party insurers, something that is regularly overlooked is medical leave benefits offered for an individual or their spouse in the event of undergoing stress, anxiety, death, or illness.
Factors that can lead to a person needing to take medical leave would require a person to review how much medical leave is offered per annum when it can be used, and the procedure that comes with it.
Medical leave is mainly used to offer time off from work, with or without compensation to employees and their families in the event of a medical emergency. This has become increasingly important during the global pandemic, with some companies adjusting their strategy to help employees stay with the company longer, and create a competitive labor market.
Covering between 90% to 100% of employee-only health benefits from the very first day of work can indicate how well a company is willing to look after its workers and their families. Medical leave benefits remain a stronghold for some families, and having the ability to include them in medical insurance coverage packages can help people feel more comfortable when faced with an emergency.
Family Planning and Welfare
Family benefits related to family planning and welfare are now rapidly on the rise, as many employers seek to work for organizations that can offer progressive family-oriented planning. The importance of family planning has increased from 2% in 2017 to 27% in 2021 according to a Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report.
A factor that has largely contributed to the rise of family planning and welfare is the advent of remote working. As employees have more time to work from home, many employees are seeking better flexibility when it comes to their work-life balance.
It’s become important to consider how these actions, and welfare planning schemes have helped employees remain longer in their current position, even more as companies move towards more progressive business models which consider the importance of family welfare.
A Final Thought
Family-orientated benefits have now become an important aspect for nearly every American employee. Whether it concerns their direct family, or perhaps that of their children, choosing the right family benefits is a daunting task that can help improve family dynamics and contribute to the development of societal standards and living conditions.
There are of course various benefits that exist within organizations and government entities. Ensuring you have access to the right set of information will help establish which should be considered more important than others. Choosing family benefits should not only improve the livelihood of those who are the sole provider, but also those who are depending on their contribution.