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Perks of Work: Health Care of Tomorrow

Dec. 13, 2019, 11:31 AM

Time for Perks of Work, our weekly recap of intriguing data, surveys, and trends about the 21st century workplace.

Working on climbing the corporate ladder? Do you religiously Slack with work pals about dream benefits packages? Check this space every Friday to keep up with the latest water-cooler talk.

Time for Some Action

Taking the lead on nagging health problems is probably a perennial resolution as far as management is concerned.

With the decade coming to a close in just a few weeks, large employers are reflecting on what they’d like to accomplish benefits-wise in 2020 and beyond.

Nearly 150 respondents shared their employee wellness goals with the National Business Group on Health, offering up plans to handle some challenges in-house and farming out others to centers of excellence focused on providing specialty care.

Roughly a quarter of the respondents (27%) said they were expanding their COE coverage in the coming year to address pressing issues.

Relieving musculoskeletal conditions such as chronic hip, knee, and spine problems is the top concern for 2020 (47%) and through 2022 (80%). Supporting fertility treatments is another biggie (38%; 57%), followed by help with maternity (17%; 41%).

Meanwhile, one in 10 said they are considering carving out benefits for transgender health issues.

Follow the Leader

The race to realize President Donald Trump’s vision for workplace health care is on.

And insurance hub Take Command Health has identified the five metropolitan areas around the country it says stand to benefit most from the administration’s health reimbursement arrangement-based reorg.

The rules released earlier this year tweak the current employer-sponsored health insurance model by sending employees out to buy coverage in the individual market and expecting them to recoup some of the expense via the tax-preferred HRA structure.

After analyzing various factors including cost, competition, and name recognition, Take Command Health ranked the top 50 metro areas best positioned to capitalize on this paradigm shift, highlighting Minneapolis; Los Angeles; Providence, R.I.; Boston; and Philadelphia as the urban centers projected to reap the greatest rewards.

“An employer-provided health benefits revolution is coming—and these cities are poised to take the lead,” Take Command Health CEO Jack Hooper said in a release.

The least prepared candidate on Hooper’s radar? That would be Louisville, Ky.

Flying Blind

Traveling for work means the world to some folks.

Service provider Travel Leaders Group dug into what corporate jet-setters hold most sacred, billing awareness of what employees expect when it comes to circling the globe on the company dime as crucial to attracting and retaining talented professionals. It noted that 36% of hiring managers said they’ve been asked about company travel by job applicants.

Some of best practices TLG put out there include:

  • Adopting hassle/stress-free travel policies;
  • Flexibility and autonomy to accommodate personal preferences; and
  • Access to dedicated travel managers adept at troubleshooting

Providing no guidance, TLG warned, is problematic for all sides.

“Remember, traveler-centric policies aren’t free-for-alls of first-class flights and five-star hotels, they’re about finding that sweet spot between controlling costs and keeping your travelers happy,” TLG counseled.

Hungry for more? Send any tips, polls, or story pitches to

To contact the reporter on this story: Warren Rojas in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at; Andrew Childers at