While there have been countless resources made available on how to address the health implications of COVID-19, there are far fewer resources regarding how to best navigate both the immediate and future financial implications of this pandemic. During this time of uncertainty, we wanted to provide you with reminders on how you can empower employees to leverage the benefits you already provide and manage COVID-19 with confidence.
1. Refamiliarize them with their medical coverage.
While this may seem obvious, it’s a great time to ensure your employees that in event COVID-19 directly affects their household, those covered by your medical benefits have resources. Direct them to the best internal resources where they can get familiar with your medical networks as well as co-pays for physician visits and prescription drugs.
2. Explain how Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts can help them right now.
The proper understanding and leveraging of these accounts can provide much-needed savings for those that may be financially strained and attempting to treat or proactively prepare for COVID-19. Our experience has taught us that many employees may not know that they have these benefits and/or how and when to tap into them. This is a great time to highlight this benefit and direct employees to your provider(s) to get information on balances and if applicable, how to access the necessary funds.
3. Highlight any Dependent Care benefits.
The closing of school and daycare facilities for both children and adults has put large amounts of strain on working caretakers. Whether your company offers a dependent care FSA or other caretaker benefits, there has never been a better time to highlight those benefits. If you do not provide this particular benefit, help employees understand the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
4. Get use out of your Employee Assistance Programs.
The flood of negative news along with the potential complications of social distancing can be hard to deal with for many. Your EAP may be a solution for those seeking guidance on how to address these effects.
5. Direct them to speak to retirement plan providers before they make a change.
Market fluctuations have been top of mind for many. However, we’ve found that few employees actually take the time to understand how those fluctuations may affect their individual situations. The anxiety around the unknown may cause your employees to take hasty, uninformed actions that may have adverse effects. Your retirement plan provider may have useful tools and articles that can help not only bring current events into perspective but help employees take the right steps toward their goals.
6. Financial Wellness benefits can help now more than ever.
From all of the calls we’ve received recently, we know that recent events are causing more financial stress than ever. Your financial wellness benefits can help employees understand not only how to prioritize their financial concerns, but how to take the next right actions that will reduce their financial stress such as talking with creditors, leveraging their employer benefits in their individual financial situations, etc.
7. Employer Assistance Funds.
We recognize that not all employers have them. However, there are many families struggling with how to pay for basic expenses during this time. Even if your fund cannot cover the expenses, your assistance program may be able to point employees toward other resources that may be able to help them during this time.
8. Support them with physical and emotional wellness programs.
Recent closings have found many struggling with how to stay healthy in almost every aspect. These programs can help with at-home workout ideas, meal ideas, mindfulness exercises, etc.