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2021: An era of employee health benefits

There are certain times in history that we will never forget, and 2020 will definitely be one of those years we will always remember. Such moments of crisis and change can disrupt every aspect of one's daily life, and not knowing when things will get better continues to fuel anxiety and stress

At ekincare, with the help of an amazing team, we went into overdrive as a digital health platform trusted by hundreds of companies and constantly innovated ways to solve critical problem areas. Despite the ups and downs, we hope that 2020 has been a successful year for you and your organization and wish 2021 to be yet another year of success and good health.

The gist of how ekincare fared through the pandemic

The gist of how ekincare fared through the pandemic

  • 😷 During the lockdown, 700 companies & their employees trusted our COVID-19 solutions which included symptom checker, doctor consultations for COVID testing, home isolation support, delivery of medicines, office sanitization, etc.
  • 🧪 We helped 4500+ employees’ families with their COVID testing across 72 cities.
  • 👨🏻‍⚕️ Our doctors, available 24x7 provided 50,000+ consults. 30% of these consults happened between 8 PM - 8 AM, staying true to our commitment to being there when you need us.
  • 🩺  With WFH, and employees relocating to home towns we quickly enabled home collection across 150+ cities in India.
  • 🤝🏼  Launched our mental wellness program which was quickly adopted by the 100s of companies.
  • 💉  We helped alleviate the fear of COVID versus common flu by administering 5,000+ flu vaccinations in the last 2 months.

This global health crisis has thrust employee benefits into the spotlight, with employee health and safety becoming top priorities for all employers.  Focusing on the holistic employee experience by considering the physical, financial, mental, and emotional welfare of employees can keep health benefits relevant while helping organizations manage through the change. For the last several years, employers have been getting creative with their benefits packages as a way to attract and maintain top talent. However, this trend is taking on new meaning in 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic has really shifted employee priorities.

Potential changes according to a survey

  • Expanding virtual or telehealth programs.
  • Enhancing mental health support, such as employee assistance programs or additional services.
  • Increasing cost-sharing for plan expenses such as deductibles, premiums, or co-payments.
  • Adding or expanding voluntary benefits.

Mental health benefits

The shift to remote work and balancing the stresses of work combined with home life has had an impact on employees. In addition, the pandemic has left employees a lot more concerned about job security, financial health, and overall physical health of themselves and their families. As a result, mental well-being and stress management is the top emerging benefit desired by employees this year. 


As more individuals stay home — willingly or out of necessity — the healthcare industry has responded with the rapid advancement of telemedicine and virtual services. Digital experiences are becoming not just a differentiator but a means to survive and thrive in this age and in the future. Even after the pandemic is over, we’ll have crossed over the chasm of adoption, and we won’t be turning back.

COVID-19 vaccines for employees

Companies will make bulk purchases of the COVID-19 vaccines for their employees. This degree of support to their employees acts as a key differentiator in the talent market to attract and retain the best talent and with a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, employers now play a vital role in helping promote COVID-19 vaccinations among their employees.

Better employee communication channels

Organizations need to invest more in digital communication channels this year to improve engagement and lift productivity. This change will indeed be of particular significance as remote working becomes increasingly commonplace.

Hence, as we move forward and navigate the continued challenges and changes COVID-19 presents, where and how companies pivot will be crucial for both employers and employees when it comes to health benefits. While in the past years, it may have been simpler just to stick with the status quo health benefits plan, this is the year to look for leaders that will bring into this new era of health care, shedding unnecessary expenses and antiquated service models to put the needs of the employees first.

Prachi Bharadwaj is an experienced Marketing Communications Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the health tech & higher education industries.