Closes in 10 seconds skip ×

Missing HBLC? More benefits topics to catch up on

Though the coronavirus means we aren't gathering for our benefits conference, HRE's coverage of the industry’s hottest trends continues.
By: | April 16, 2020 • 4 min read

Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series on topics that were on the HBLC agenda. Read part one here.

*

The coronavirus pandemic forced HRE to cancel its Health and Benefits Leadership Conference—but that doesn’t mean education about benefits has to stop.

The annual event—scheduled to begin this week in Las Vegas—was set to dive deep on a number of topics, from financial wellness and family-friendly perks to benefits engagement and technology. While the in-person event is no longer happening, there are plenty of in-depth articles and research to read on Human Resource Executive now to educate yourself on some of the biggest trends and topics in the benefits industry. And stay tuned for upcoming HRE webinars that will offer some of the HBLC speakers’ presentations.

Advertisement

Here is a look at some of the biggest benefits topics that were going to be addressed at HBLC—and stories to read about them right now.

Mental health programs: Wellness components that address mental health are growing in importance as more employees struggle with conditions including stress, anxiety and depression. Employers are beginning to recognize the toll mental health concerns take on workers’ personal and professional lives. Read why it’s a growing focus for employers here. The benefit is all the more important as the coronavirus pandemic shines a light on employees’ mental health concerns. Don’t miss that angle here.

Benefits policy in a presidential election year: There’s no question that employee benefits are in the political spotlight: Healthcare policy is front and center with debates over Medicare-for-All and drug prices. Policy positions on retirement security and paid leave have also entered the political discussion. And in this presidential election year, these topics will be even more important. American Benefits Council’s Jim Klein, who was set to present about the topic at HBLC, discusses what benefit changes to expect this election season in this Q&A.

Telemedicine: Telehealth options were already part of the benefits conversation as experts say virtual care can help save employees time and save employers money (read more here). But the coronavirus pandemic has made the benefit a necessity. Find out more about that here and here.

Healthcare costs: Employers are constantly balancing how to control rising healthcare costs and how to best offer employees the right coverage and resources. Rabah Kamal, senior policy analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation, was due to address this balance and present findings from KFF’s annual survey on employer healthcare strategies at HBLC. She addresses some of these topics—and important employer strategies—in this Q&A with HRE. Kamal also will be presenting her findings in an HRE webinar in June.

Advertisement

Caregiving: Benefits and policies that help employee caregivers have been an increased focus for employers in recent years, with companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Deloitte embracing them. Those programs are all the more important in today’s coronavirus world, HRE reports. Read an in-depth look at caregiving benefits here.

*

Tomorrow learn more on tuition assistance, the evolution of technology in benefits and dive into the importance of emergency savings accounts. 

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s 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. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

More from HRE