Insights

Five Innovative Benefit Offerings for Today’s Workplace: Accelerate Webinar Recap

September 28, 2020

Employee Benefits

In our recent webinar, Accelerate: Emerging Solutions for the Future Workplace, five leaders pitched their innovative benefit offerings to our audience, VC style. Hosted by Kathy Prosser, Senior Vice President, National Employee Benefits Practice Leader, and Dave Kerrigan of BenefitPitch, participants learned how these leaders are changing the face of employee benefits.

Wondering who enticed the audience the most? Read through to the end and find out who won the coveted “best overall benefit” award.

Woman sitting on park bench using tablet device

Rain

Earned wages delivered before payday

Presenter: Jennifer Terrell, VP Employer Partnerships, Rain Technologies

According to Jennifer, there are more than 20,000 payday loan locations in the US, as opposed to only 14,267 McDonald’s restaurants. While growing in number, these payday loans are predatory, forcing customers to pay over 700% in interest. With the average American having less than $400 in savings before COVID-19, payday loans only add to the financial worries most employees face, increasing absenteeism and distractions in the workplace.

Rain is out to “kill predatory lenders” by offering an easy, low-cost way for employees to access their earned wages before payday using a mobile app. Rain lets employees access a percentage of their wages, immediately, before receiving their typical weekly or semi-monthly check.

Employers determine what percentage of paychecks employees can access, often 40-50% to ensure funds remain to pay for taxes and disbursements. Rain deducts a transaction fee to the employee (currently $3.95), which in turn is reimbursed to Rain on the next payroll cycle via an integration between Rain and employer payroll systems. There is no cost to the employer in offering Rain.

Companies like FedEx and Walmart have successfully used Rain Technologies with their employees. Rain now brings this same technology to small and medium-sized businesses. Benefits to employers include reductions in turnover, with one client having experienced an increase of 1100% in applications for shift workers. Pay on demand is proving to be one of the best tools in the HR recruiting toolkit, including a short implementation time of one to two weeks.

Carrot

Global fertility benefits that save money and tame anxiety

Presenter: Juli Insinger, Co-Founder, Carrot Fertility

Can infertility be a bigger stressor than COVID-19? Juli believes so, sharing that Carrot helps women and families navigate the fertility journey and ease its common stressors. Carrot is an “inclusive” benefit, going beyond health insurance, which often only pays for a medical diagnosis of infertility.

Members have unlimited access to the Carrot platform, which includes fertility experts to help with care navigation, fertility testing for both women and men, reproductive technologies, surrogacy, adoption services, pregnancy, access to midwives and doulas, and up to six weeks of postpartum support.

Carrot is designed for employers who want to offer an innovative, inclusive benefit to their employees that includes a high-touch concierge experience with experts in multiple specialties, such as matching to a provider of the member’s preferred race. Carrot helps to optimize outcomes, which in turn helps to keep total spend in check for employers and employees. Each Carrot member gets a card to swipe at participating providers, making the payment process easier.

The Carrot platform is available to fully insured and self-insured employers and includes coverage for employees, spouses, and partners. The minimum cost for the Carrot platform is $10,000 annually, with additional costs tailored to large and global companies.

Cancer Guardian

Comprehensive cancer support

Presenter: Tom Wamberg, CEO, Wamberg Genomic Advisors

Cancer is a complex disease that does not discriminate, wreaking medical, emotional, mental, and financial challenges for employees and their families. It is often dictated by where you live, your DNA, your healthcare plan, and personal finances.

Tom shared a client’s story of a woman whose father was stricken by cancer. Her father struggled to find the right doctors, navigated clinical trials that would not take him, and spent thousands on therapies not covered by health insurance. But what if there was the possibility for a different outcome, one where employees had assistance in understanding treatment options, access to genetic assessments, and help finding appropriate clinical trials to minimize the cost to the patient?

Cancer Guardian, a unique offering in the benefits industry, provides a path to prevent cancer and manage cancer treatment. They provide an oncology support specialist to advise members, attend doctor appointments, overcome clinical jargon and language barriers, set up a digitized medical records platform, and offer access to advanced genomic testing. They also triage patients for access to over 12,000 clinical trials, which currently have a 3-5% national participation rate. Cancer Guardian wants to raise that to over 30% participation.

Tom’s goal is to have one million Cancer Guardian members, allowing him to make an annual donation of $600,000 to the American Cancer Society (ACS) for further research. His goal is to not just navigate cancer therapies for patients and their families but also to assist ACS in curing it within our lifetimes.

For employers, the estimated cost is $16/PEPM for an employee and $16/PEPM for an employee’s spouse. Voluntary employee benefits are $16-26/PEPM. Plans must be purchased prior to cancer diagnosis, but additional services can be purchased post diagnosis at a higher cost.

SWORD Health

A better way to treat musculoskeletal (MSK) pain

Presenter: Fernando Correia, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Officer, SWORD Health

According to Dr. Correia, half of all Americans suffer from musculoskeletal (MSK) issues. Globally, MSK is the leading cause of disability, greater than cardiovascular, cancer, and mental health disabilities combined. SWORD Health addresses MSK using a combination of physical therapists (PT) and sensor technology, allowing for treatment to be conducted at home, eliminating office visits.

Dan, a middle-aged patient, is a SWORD success story. Previously experiencing low back pain, Dan tried anti-inflammatories, injections, chiropractic visits, and more with no relief. Dan was headed toward a $50,000 spinal surgery, until SWORD Health provided him with specialized physical therapy using feedback sensors to tailor treatment. As a result, Dan now cycles 100 miles each week and is free from pain.

MSK conditions cost employers millions, so treating MSK issues is valuable to both employers and employees. SWORD Health uses sensors that track how the patient moves, providing immediate feedback to a PT who can work remotely with the patient, tailoring exercises for prevention, chronic pain, and post-surgical rehabilitation.

SWORD Health’s approach has proven to be effective for 90% of MSK conditions. They have a 90% retention rate in patients and a 9.3/10 satisfaction rating. Of most benefit to employers may be the 34% reduction in surgeries for MSK issues.

Employers pay a minimum fee of $1,200 annually, with no employee size minimums. Half of the cost is an employer onboarding fee, while additional costs are $20/session capped at $600 annually, charging sessions for only those who use the program.

Modern Health

The first preventive mental health solution for innovative global employers

Presenter: Alyson Watson, CEO, Modern Health

Since COVID-19, the need for quality mental health services has skyrocketed, solidifying the need for employers to include a mental health benefits offering, as indicated by 67% of employees who believe that employers have a responsibility to offer mental health services.

Point solutions only offer services in specific parts of the mental health spectrum, ranging from mindfulness to clinical visits. Modern Health’s current triage rates indicate that 24% of people are in a “healthy” state, 56% experience moderate to high stress, and 20% have clinical mental health needs. A full spectrum solution is needed to address the range of employee issues, which Modern Health offers.

Backed by top venture capitalists, Modern Health has grown 10 times in the last year, working with companies across all industries to triage the right level of care. Using a 20-second assessment tool validated by the World Health Organization (WHO), employees can use a mobile or desktop app to identify their issues and preferred method of care. Whether it is relationship, career, financial, parenting, or other issues, Modern Health has experts ranging from coaches to psychologists to digital-only programs.

Modern Health has the top engagement in the industry with 20% employee engagement, offering access to a top provider network with a 4.9/5 rating. Available in 30 countries and 35 languages, Modern Health works closely with employers to offer an innovative solution that addresses emerging mental health needs. Modern Health charges on a PEPM basis, with costs varying by the type of plan chosen, and a minimum contract size of $30,000.

Accelerate Award Winners

Our presenters lived up to the theme for the day—innovation is for everyone. Who did the attendees believe was best in their category?

Benefit with the biggest impact: Modern Health
Best employee-friendly benefit: Rain
Best benefit you never knew existed: Rain
Best benefit for cost containment: Rain
Best benefit overall: Modern Health

Thank You to Our Benefit Leaders!

We appreciate the time and effort our participants took to share their passionate missions, dedication to employee health, and innovative approaches to solve the growing issues of physical and mental health in the workforce. Looking for unique benefits that offer what employees want and will use while balancing costs? Contact your Woodruff Sawyer benefits consultant.

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All views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the position of Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.