Supporting Your Employees, Whole

March 25th, 2021

Americans will spend the vast majority of their adult lives at work, so it’s important that their working environments support a sustainable, balanced lifestyle. The pandemic era has only further emphasized the fact that employees are people with multidimensional lives, with work being only one part of the larger whole. 

As a result, many employers are looking beyond traditional benefits to help their employees live more balanced lives.

Whether through adding new benefits, or working to improve existing ones, it’s in everyone’s best interest for employers to think of employees holistically, and work to support all dimensions of their wellness. Helping employees afford their medical care is one concrete way that employers can support many dimensions of their employees’ wellness -- and it might be cheaper than you think. 

What is Holistic Wellness?

There are eight dimensions of wellness according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

- Emotional: Coping effectively with life and maintaining satisfying relationships.

- Spiritual: Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life.

- Intellectual: Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.

- Physical: Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition.

- Environmental: Maintaining wellness by living in an environment that promotes well-being.

- Financial: Having the means to live comfortably without overwhelming stress about money.

- Occupational: Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s work.

- Social: Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.

Traditionally, employers might have felt responsible for supporting the occupational, and perhaps the financial, dimensions of their employees’ wellness. The role of an employer was to employ. 

However, as our society has matured, and topics like mental health, balancing work and parenthood, and employee burnout have been more openly discussed, the role of the employer has continued to evolve as well. It’s more important than ever for employers to recognize the need to support the whole person.   

Expanding Benefits to Support the Whole Person

In recent years, more and more employers are working to add benefits that enable employees to live more balanced lives, such as:

- Offering flexible schedules so employees can pick up their kids from school or support virtual learning

- Offering no-questions-asked, encouraged paid time off

- Offering volunteer days and opportunities

- Offering generous maternity and paternity leave

- Offering free snacks and drinks 

In addition to adding these types of benefits, it’s also important for employers to recognize where their existing benefits might be falling short. 

Fixing Holes in Existing Benefits

One stressor affecting nearly one-third of Americans is the question of how to pay for medical care. With the rising costs of premiums and deductibles, many working Americans cannot afford to pay the out-of-pocket costs of their employer-sponsored insurance -- leaving them to make the difficult decision to either go into medical debt, or delay or postpone their care.

Stress about paying for medical care can affect nearly every dimension of wellness:

- Occupational: Employees enduring financial stress have been shown to take twice as many sick days compared to less-financially stressed employees. Some employees might need to take on additional work or change jobs in order to afford medical care.

- Financial: A study performed by Kaiser Family Foundation evaluated what resulted when people who have health insurance incur medical debt: They often struggle for years to climb out of it as other debts snowball, with some people being forced to permanently reduce their standard of living as a result. 

- Physical: Researchers have consistently found that financial stress negatively impacts health, often contributing to migraines, heart disease, insomnia, and deteriorating mental health

- Emotional: Being forced to make difficult decisions around medical care can take a heavy toll on the emotional wellbeing of an entire family.

- Intellectual: Worrying about financial debt has been shown to dampen creativity and distract people from unlocking their true potential. 

How Paytient Can Help

Luckily, there is a way for employers to help their employees afford their medical care: Paytient. Offered as a benefit to employees, Paytient gives employees a way to pay for their out-of-pocket medical costs over time, without interest. 

Comparable in cost to any other modern workplace subscription like Notion, or Loom, or Slack, Paytient benefits both the employee and the employer: 

- When employees can more easily access sub-catastrophic care, they are less likely to file large claims later on. 

- Helping employees avoid distracting financial debt allows them to focus on doing their best work and unlocks higher levels of performance. 

- By avoiding medical debt, employees are in a better position to maintain their physical and financial health and less likely to leave their role.

Conclusion

There are countless ways that employers can better support the holistic wellness of their employees: whether it’s adding new benefits, or working to improve existing ones. 

Paytient is a low-cost, high-value intervention tool that does both: Provides an attractive new benefit to your employees, while helping them take advantage of their existing health plans. 

Many companies find that they can cover the cost of Paytient simply by eliminating or reducing other benefits that are underutilized (such as gym membership stipends). 

To learn more about Paytient, contact our sales team

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