No law directly requires companies to provide healthcare coverage for their employees. But under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), companies with 50 or more employees must offer it to 95% of their full-time staff. Not doing so can penalize them as much as $3,860 per employee per year.
Your company’s health insurance must meet the minimum requirements for coverage and affordability. It should also cover dependents, which should be biological or adopted children under 26 years old. Under the ACA, spouses, stepchildren, and foster children aren’t considered dependents.
The typical employer-sponsored health insurance covers an annual physical exam. It also covers medical services and treatment for any disease. But it has limitations. For example, if you get hospitalized, the insurance can only cover a public ward instead of a private room.
This type of coverage has benefited many. But your company can offer more. These times are especially tough, with COVID-19 and all. Hence, your health coverage plan could use some improvements. Aside from including COVID-19 treatment in your current coverage plan, consider adding these three as well:
1. Dental Treatment
Covering dental treatments will encourage your employees to care for their oral health. As a result, absenteeism due to oral diseases can decrease. Given that oral health is directly linked to general wellness and medical conditions, including heart disease, seeking regular dental checkups is necessary.
For example, you can exclude complex services like braces but at least cover essential orthodontist visits, such as when an employee needs to adjust their braces or dentures.
And of course, don’t forget emergency dental treatments. They might be the best dental coverage you can ever give. It will allow your employees who need a root canal or crowns to get them immediately instead of waiting it out because they can’t afford them.
Furthermore, receiving dental treatments can boost your employees’ confidence, morale, and productivity. A perfect smile can go a long way; it can improve their speech, which would be helpful if they work in sales, for example. As a result, their motivation to perform better will increase, and so will their productivity.
2. Mental Health Coverage
Nearly 40% of employers offered mental health programs in 2020. Indeed, the pandemic has impacted many people’s mental health. Cases of anxiety and depression surged. People who were already struggling faced worse challenges. They couldn’t visit their therapists either because of the traveling restrictions.
Hence, consider covering mental health treatments for your employees. Ideally, it shouldn’t just cover counseling or talk therapy. It would be wiser to cover substance abuse treatments as well. Addressing mental health in the workplace helps break the stigma about it. You can make your workplace a safe place for your employees to talk about their mental troubles. Whether you work from home or in the office, you can do routine check-ins on your employees to find out how they’ve been coping.
You can also offer wellness amenities in your workplace, like the following:
- Free healthy snacks
- Walking and biking paths
- De-stress zones
- Water coolers
- Fitness rooms
- Indoor plants or mini gardens
- Ergonomic work stations
- Break room games
Holding events, like team-building seminars, also counts as a wellness benefit. Any program that isn’t directly work-related but important for your employees’ well-being counts as one. And the best part is many wellness benefits cost little. Free healthy snacks, for example, can be nuts or tea, which would barely leave a dent on your petty cash. But they can help your employees decompress after an overwhelming task.
3. Sexually-transmitted Disease (STD) Treatment
As your company comprises adults, STDs shouldn’t be taboo in your workplace. Treating this subject as embarrassing contributes to the persistent stigma about it. As a result, employees who might have a diagnosis may delay seeking treatment.
Addressing STDs shouldn’t occur when there’s already a case. Instead, its risks should be prevented in the first place. For example, risks of STDs run high during corporate events, like Christmas parties. Since liquor is typically served in those events, employees under the influence may engage in unsafe intercourse and thus get infected.
Risks of harassment may also increase during such events. Hence, you should play a more proactive role in minimizing risks and addressing STD cases. Promote respect in your workplace, and be firm when setting consequences for anyone who disrespects an employee. Moreover, provide educational materials about STDs. It should include where they could find a sexual health clinic.
Health issues are one of the leading productivity killers. So please don’t take them lightly. An extensive health coverage plan will show that you value your employees’ well-being, not only their skills and time. In turn, they’ll exhibit higher motivation and satisfaction for your company.