Ten years ago, the iPhone didn’t exist, Facebook wasn’t available publicly, the first Tweet had barely been published, and no one had heard of wearable technology or big data.
Ten years ago, HSAs were the new kid on the block, pension freezes were a big focus, public and private exchanges didn’t exist, and results-based wellness programs were far off into the future.
The industry has changed tremendously, most notably disrupted by the ACA’s passage and the waves of changes since. More recently, financial wellness and leave programs have been pushed to the forefront as employers work to modernize benefits and meet the needs of their increasingly diverse workforces.
But some things haven’t changed …
Employers are still trying to win the war for talent and still struggling with proving the value of their investments in health and benefits. Employees still struggle to understand their benefits, and make good decisions for themselves and their families. Programs are still disconnected, and much of the technology is still clunky. And, unfortunately, the industry still has a long way to go when it comes to creating products and services that truly meet the needs of a dynamic workforce. That includes making adequate investments in the year-round, high-touch, never-ending education that is required to improve health and financial outcomes.
We are constantly reminded that this stuff matters. Our daily motivation comes from employees’ comments like “this program saved the day,” our clients sharing how their programs are improving business results, or a headline about how ill-equipped Americans are to manage their health and finances.
We love our work because employers play such an incredible, inspiring, and meaningful role in helping employees better their own lives. They have access, influence, and trust like no one else.
So here’s our clarion call: Let’s move mountains. We can effect change on a big, big scale.
The employee benefits industry touches the health and financial security of nearly every American, and millions of people all around the world. Every employer may not be able to provide the richest programs, but they do have the resources to get their employees fully engaged in the benefits they provide. If all employees were fully engaged with their health and financial benefits, our industry would be stronger, our companies would be stronger, and our countries would be stronger.
We believe it in our bones. It fuels our passion to make a difference, and we are committed to continuing to push boundaries.
Thank you for being part of our first 10 years. We’re excited about what’s ahead.
Jen & Isabelle
What’s next in employee benefits?
As part of celebrating this milestone, we’re delighted to feature interviews with dozens of benefits leaders on LinkedIn. They share part of their journeys as professionals, and their thoughts for what’s next in the industry. We hope that will start a broader conversation about what’s possible.
Smart phones and the internet have changed almost everything in our lives, and health care is no exception.
Every day I am surrounded by people who are inspired to create systems and processes designed to improve the health and well-being of others. There is meaning and purpose to the work that is done in the employee benefits space. I cannot imagine being a part of any other industry.
I’d love to say get rid of all the handcuffs around all the regulations and regulatory requirements that impact benefit programs, but ... that’s not where we are today. It’s more about how do we work with what we have?
I’m concerned that continued rulings by administrative bodies will eventually make it so difficult…that many employers will stop offering medical benefits…If we lose that, I think society will be the worse for it.
... the rules governing [employee benefit] plans and the rights and responsibilities of participants are complex. Helping people understand their choices is essential for them to make the best decisions.
As we have all seen every day, a lot of employees don’t understand what their employer offers until they need the coverage. Can you imagine how many of those individuals would be worse off if they had to fend for themselves?
Our research shows that financial wellness has a huge impact on happiness and productivity at work. Financially fit employees are happier—and happy employees are more engaged and more willing to go the extra mile for their employer.
Head of Participant Engagement, Defined Contribution Team, State Street Global Advisors
... I like to remind the benefits industry that health and wellness never referred exclusively to physical health; these terms, just like the now-popular 'well-being,' have always represented dynamic, complex, multidimensional processes.