5 reasons to attend the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference

I don’t exactly need to say, again, that benefits have changed dramatically because of COVID-19. But I am excited to really dive into that topic next week during HRE’s Health & Benefits Leadership Conference–held virtually May 11-13, which will go in-depth on how the pandemic has permanently changed health and benefits strategies. Haven’t registered yet? Here are five reasons you shouldn’t wait.

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Big names, big topics. Our roster for the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference is more exciting than ever with big names and big topics. Joan Lunden, caregiving advocate and former “Good Morning America” co-host, will kick off our event May 11 and will detail her experiences–and challenges–caring for her children, aging mother and sick brother, all while working full time, and why she has spent years advocating for better workplace support and family leave laws. Suze Orman, Emmy Award-winning personal finance expert, will be speaking about the next big benefit trend–emergency savings; and Arianna Huffington will be discussing resilience and how to manage stress and burnout in your organization. Also on the agenda: sessions about what to know about benefits policy in 2021 (by industry favorite Jim Klein); how benefits can help address racial inequity and how to encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Related: How Joan Lunden became a caregiving advocate

10 spotlight sessions examining timely topics. The event includes 10 timely spotlight sessions, recently announced, that will delve into some of the biggest issues in health and benefits right now–from burnout and mental health to remote work. One I’m especially excited about is a panel I’m moderating on the mental health epidemic and what organizations must do. Joining me are National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions President and CEO Michael Thompson; Total Brain CEO Louis Gagnon; American Health Policy Institute Executive Vice President Colleen McHugh and One Mind at Work Executive Vice President Daryl Tol. Other sessions include how the pandemic is upending healthcare spending and utilization, led by analysts from the Kaiser Family Foundation; how to help employees with serious or complex health issues led by researchers at the Mayo Clinic; and the transformation of health and benefits strategies from HR analyst John Sumser. (See the full list of our spotlight sessions here.)

Hear from your peers. It’s always interesting to hear from employers and HR leaders on what they’ve done, challenges they’ve faced or lessons they’ve discovered over the course of the year. That’s especially the case this year, with so many vital strategies to talk about. TIAA CHRO Sean Woodroffe, Johnson and Johnson’s Fernando Salinas, Mastercard CHRO Michael Fraccaro, Edward Jones CHRO Kristin Johnson and Upwork’s chief people officer, ZoÁ« Harte, are among the many HR leaders who will talk about how they’ve handled COVID-19 for their employees and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

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It’s virtual and free. There has never been an easier time to check out HBLC: Our three-day event is virtual this year due to COVID-19–and free to attend for attendees. Plus, if you can’t attend live, register anyway. Attendees will have access to all the session recordings, resources and tools to explore for 30 days post-event on our sophisticated virtual platform.

It’s a crucial time for benefits. Perhaps the most important reason to attend? Although it’s been a very difficult year, this tumultuous time also means that employee health and benefits strategies are more important than ever. Smart organizations have turned to programs and benefits offerings as their No. 1 COVID-19 strategy in an effort to help employees during the most stressful time of their lives. It’s unquestionably a vital time for benefits, but it’s also a very exciting time for benefits, too. I know that HBLC attendees will benefit from learning more about how they can keep helping workers during the pandemic and beyond.

For more information and to register, visit benefitsconf.com.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.