January 14, 2021

The Experts Have Spoken: 5 Insights from Nava's Benefits Advisory Council

The Nava Team

Last week, Nava celebrated the arrival of 2021 by sharing our top employee benefits predictions. Since this year is already throwing us a few curveballs, we turned to our Benefits Advisory Council for their perspectives on what HR leaders should anticipate and prepare for in 2021. Read on to learn more:

1. The obvious: sorry, we are stuck with COVID-19

Marcus Osborne: SVP Walmart Health - Walmart

Even with immunization roll-outs, we’ll still be dealing with mass COVID-19 outbreaks through the majority of 2021. So, if you were hoping to talk about something else, get real.

2. Healthcare costs will likely trend up in 2021, but not to the level of what they would have otherwise been.

Kelley Elliott: Managing Director Global Total Rewards - Delta Air Lines

With healthcare costs generally flat or down in 2020, I anticipate 2021 healthcare costs to be slightly lower than they would have been if we had not experienced what we did in 2020.

3. Wellbeing will become of utmost importance.

Kelley Elliott: Managing Director Global Total Rewards - Delta Air Lines

The pandemic put wellbeing at the forefront. Whether it was due to physical, mental, or financial health challenges, we were all overly taxed in 2020 and now, it's time for us to rebuild.

4. The definition of “covered benefits” is going to evolve rapidly.

Marcus Osborne: SVP Walmart Health - Walmart

Health insurers covering food, OTC items, fitness products, ride-shares, air filtration systems, etc. – turns out it's not so crazy after all. The rise of non-prescription benefit coverage is happening rapidly. Though the bulk of this effort has occurred with Medicare (and to a lesser extent, Medicaid), we’ll start to see this trend pick up speed on the Commercial side, too.

5. Healthcare went and will likely stay somewhat virtual (at least some of it).

Kelley Elliott: Managing Director Global Total Rewards - Delta Air Lines

Whether that will help us bend the curve or not is still to be seen, but I certainly think we need to push for this direction.

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