November 1 2021

HLTH 2021: The New Shape of Work

By Accolade


Accolade CEO Rajeev Singh was among the many healthcare industry leaders attending the recent HLTH 2021 conference. At HLTH, Singh was part of a panel on  The New Shape of Work  where business leaders discussed how benefits plan designs are changing with the times, and what employers need to understand to plan for the future. 

Over the last two years, the COVID pandemic has – among other changes – completely upended previous conceptions about where and how we work. It has also revealed inadequacies in both the healthcare system as a whole, and in how employer-provided health plans serve employees and their families. 

So how can employers meet rapidly evolving needs and compete for talent in an increasingly tough market? Keep reading to hear what our CEO had to say. And to learn more about what Accolade learned at HLTH and elsewhere in a whirlwind couple of months,  check out Raj’s latest post on LinkedIn

Addressing healthcare inequities

Inequality in the healthcare system didn’t start with the COVID pandemic, but the last few years have shone a spotlight on how disparate people’s experience with the American healthcare system can be. Are these inequities something employers have to address? 

“I think increasingly employers say ‘yeah, that's on my list,’” Singh said. “It should be a responsibility that we assign inside of our businesses to ensure every one of our employees has access to the same quality, the same value, the same capacity to take care of their families, because that's what you want.” 

That also extends to making it easier for employees to find health care providers of a similar background to their own, said Singh.  

“Ensuring that every one of your employees and family members had access to the same quality of healthcare, had access to a provider that looked like them, or physician or mental health specialists who looked like them... That was perhaps an imperative that we didn't understand, pre-pandemic.” 

Changing demographics, changing needs 

Just as the workplace is changing, so are the workers who participate in it, and demographic shifts mean that benefits plans have to understand who they’re serving and evolve to meet the needs of those members. 

“The healthcare needs of different segments of the population are fundamentally different depending upon where they live, depending on what their needs are and depending upon what age they are,” Singh told the HLTH audience. “And the breadth of the benefits program therefore, is getting extraordinarily complicated. We have to decide what we want to provide... It's about acknowledging the demographics of my population, where they live, where they may be moving, what they look like, what their needs are.” 

Benefits make a statement about your company  

Benefits can be the thing that makes it easy for people to leave a company – or the thing that keeps them engaged with your organization. But benefits programs, Singh says, are about more than just competition for talent. The benefits a company provides – or doesn’t – speak volumes about that company’s values. And that means a whole new level of scrutiny about benefits packages is coming from current employees and prospects alike. 

“On this point, I think it's relatively new to the universe,” Singh said. “Employees are not just going to look at your benefits package as a whole and say, ‘Is it good enough for me? Let's check the box.’ They're going to look at this and say, ‘Do I want to work at a company that represents who they are via the benefits packages that they're promoting for me?’”

If you are ready to offer your people the healthcare benefits package they deserve, it's time to learn more about  Personalized Healthcare from Accolade.