OpenLoop Team|5/9/2024|4 min read

6 Health Benefits With The Highest Utilization

70% of employees state that health benefits are a reason they stay at their jobs

female therapist talking to patient over a video call or telehealth visit

Health benefits can improve recruitment, employee retention, performance and the overall health of your workforce. If you’re trying to determine what your organization should offer, look for health benefits with favorable utilization rates. We’ll dive into six health benefits with the highest average utilization below, so you know what your organization should have in its toolkit. 

1. Health insurance

If there’s one health benefit that most employees want, it's health insurance. This benefit makes navigating the complex healthcare system more accessible for employees and gives them a sense of financial security. After all, medical expenses, especially for those with families, can add up, which is likely why 79% of employees call health insurance a “must-have” benefit. 

Even further, a 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey done by the Employee Benefit Research Institute revealed the following: 

  • 74% of employees believe that their employers have a responsibility to make sure they’re healthy and physically well. 

  • Over 70% of participants stated that health insurance is part of why they stay in their current jobs or choose new ones.

  • Six in ten employees stated that receiving health insurance from their employer gave them a sense of financial security.

Add virtual care benefits

Telemedicine is also rising in popularity. KFF found that 91% of businesses with 50 or more employees cover some healthcare services through telemedicine in their most extensive health plan. Telehealth benefits allow employees to access primary and urgent care services virtually, significantly increasing healthcare access and work productivity. 

Ultimately, health insurance is undoubtedly one of the top health benefits with the highest utilization. According to research, 81% of employees say their employer offers it to them, and 86% participate. 

For a more detailed breakdown of specific health insurance plans to offer your employees, check out our blog on the 5 PEPM Programs Employers Should Add to Their Benefits Package.

2. Dental insurance

Dental insurance is another highly utilized health benefit. Consider this: Of those who completed the 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey, 68% said their employer offered dental insurance, and 82% utilized this service. Another report found that 74% of employees see dental benefits as either extremely or very important. 

Therefore, it’s not surprising that 94% of large businesses offering health insurance also provide a dental insurance program. In 2023, Statista even showed that 64% of state government employees and 41% of private industry employees had access to dental care benefits. 

Dental insurance helps employees prevent future dental problems, which are more costly and complex. Plus, our oral health impacts our overall health. Research suggests that poor oral health is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and respiratory mortality. 

Dental insurance helps employers maintain a healthier workforce, especially when paired with telehealth. Teledentistry can be used for diagnostics, therapy, rehabilitation and decision-making, which could improve access to care for employees in rural areas. 

3. Vision insurance

A 2022 survey found that 70% of employees were offered vision insurance through their employer, and 75% utilized this benefit. Research also suggests that 85% of adults want vision care coverage, likely because about 76% use some type of vision correction.  

Uncorrected vision issues, like nearsightedness and farsightedness, cost the global economy almost $272 billion in lost productivity. Even further, workplace eye injuries alone cost about $300 million annually in medical treatment, workers' compensation and productivity losses. 

Consequently, employers should offer this benefit, as it could save them over $2,700 per employee annually. Routine eye exams not only help improve vision health but may also identify other issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, and more. 

4. Mental health 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, rates of anxiety, depression and substance abuse have increased. This negatively impacts employers' bottom line as poor mental health is associated with increased presenteeism and absenteeism

According to one report, 80% of employees stated that mental health benefits are “somewhat important” or “very important” when picking a job. However, they don’t just want this benefit for themselves. In fact, approximately 55% of employees say they’re supporting a child with mental health challenges, and almost 60% say their company’s benefits adequately help their child with mental health issues. 

Some employers offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), which are beneficial but have yet to be widely used. Research suggests that historically, five people per every 100 employees with access to EAP services use it for counseling in a year. 

Some employees hesitate to use this service because they fear the EAP will share information with their employers and want more specialties. In addition, employees usually have to go through HR first to access the service, which could be embarrassing. 

Telehealth can close the mental health gap

Telehealth services for mental health are often much more seamless, as there’s greater access to mental health specialists, and they can fit around an employee's schedule. One study found that telehealth utilization rates increased by almost 40% between 2019 and 2022, so it appears to be a benefit employees want and use. 

Telehealth can offer a cost effective, convenient option for both the employee and employer while seeing high returns on health and productivity. Thanks to the removal of certain barriers like transportation and reduced operational costs, it’s become a much more affordable option.

5. Employee wellness programs

Although almost 90% of employees have access to wellness programs, only about 23% actually use them. The majority have a 20% to 40% participation rate—so why is this on the list? When done right, the most successful ones may have a 75% or higher participation rate. Programs with higher participation rates tend to have greater leadership involvement, offer incentives and allow employees to check their progress. 

What does that look like? Overall, it’s essential to select programs that interest employees and don’t interfere with their workload. This may mean building an in-house, a la carte program rather than a general marketplace one. For instance, offering telehealth options, like a medical weight loss program, may garner a lot of interest, as it's convenient, and 73% of U.S. adults are overweight. 

6. Fertility services

Fertility benefits are on the rise, with nearly 40% of employers now offering this service. Many health insurance plans don’t cover fertility treatments. Over 80% of people seeking fertility services have little to no insurance coverage. Research shows that infertility can negatively impact work performance, but why is this important for employers to support?

The mental load that infertility can put on those involved can significantly affect their overall wellbeing and mental health. Doctors visits, medications, treatments, ovulation tracking, supplements—it can become overwhelming.

Additionally, the physical toll that medications and treatments can put on one's body can limit their ability to perform certain tasks and be present at work. By offering fertility coverage, it opens the door for many individuals to seek better fertility treatments and relieves some of the financial burden. This translates to better productivity at work and as a result, higher workplace satisfaction.

Power effective and affordable health benefits for your employees

As you can see, health benefits aren’t something that firms, small or large, should skimp on. However, we understand that offering these programs can be tedious and overwhelming. 

At OpenLoop, we help organizations seamlessly offer telehealth solutions that are convenient, cost-effective and improve access to care. Our white-label services and extensive provider network can help you build competitive health benefits packages that address your employee's needs.

Want to learn more? Contact us today!

Our full suite of white-labeled virtual care services includes: