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2021 Wellness Trends

wellness trends

3 minute read

Before the pandemic, many employers were making a shift to the way they implemented and viewed their wellness initiatives. Some ideas included beefing up their mental health offerings and focusing on holistic well-being.

According to the Business Group on Health’s 2021 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey, 45% of employers surveyed in 2020 considered their health care strategy to be a critical component of their overall workplace strategy. And given the pandemic’s effects on employees’ health, employers are expected to expand their wellness offerings in 2021.


Holistic Well-Being

Employers will continue to offer wellness benefits that focus on the overall-well-being of their employees rather than just physical well-being. This means addressing all aspects of the body and mind. Programs may include access to mental health professionals or assistance dealing with depression and stress. Instead of a one-size-fits-all health plan, employers are focusing on metrics like employee satisfaction and retention. Going forward, employees are likely to expect a robust offering of wellness resources, so employers may want to evaluate their current offerings to stay on trend.


Financial Wellness

Prior to the pandemic, many employers were focusing on expanding their financial wellness resources. The pandemic has put significant financial strain on employees across the country. According to MetLife’s 18th Annual U.S. Employee Benefits Trends Study 2020, 81% of employees are feeling major financial stressors since the onset of the pandemic.

Employers are offering financial wellness programs to help employees reduce these stressors. Programs vary but may include tuition reimbursement, virtual financial planning meetings, payday loan assistance, and seminars. Offering a diverse program can help aid employees, no matter what their financial situation.

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Mental Health Resources

The pandemic has exasperated behavioral health issues for many employees, regardless of whether they are working onsite or remotely. This includes mental health issues and substance abuse.

One 2021 trend is that employers are looking to expand their mental health resources. According to the Business Group on Health’s 2021 survey, in the next year:

  • 88% of employers plan to provide access to online mental health support resources (articles, apps, videos, etc.)
  • 65% plan to provide manager training to help recognize mental and behavior health issues
  • 50% plan to conduct anti-stigma campaigns

Employers are also implementing or revitalizing their employee assistance programs and lowering and waiving costs for employees to access mental health resources.

Employers may want to consider investing in their wellness program for 2021 to retain and support current employees. Consider evaluating your current initiatives, surveying employees to learn what they find most valuable, and thinking about ways to improve your plan.

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This blog is intended to be a compilation of information and resources pulled from federal, state, and local agencies. This is not intended to be legal advice. For up to the minute information and guidance on COVID-19, please follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health organizations.


National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Brock Buckellew

Brock Buckellew

Brock Buckellew believes in giving back to his community. He volunteers at several charities as well as serving his local clients with their employee benefit needs. Brock enjoys providing resources and solutions as well as establishing long lasting relationships. As Account Manager for National Insurance Services, Brock works with schools, cities, and counties in the Midwest Region on their health insurance, wellness plans, benefit communication, and retirement incentives. Brock has a background in employee benefit consulting and is a licensed insurance agent.