In today's world, when access to medical coverage is on the political chopping block every week and there are many questions about what health insurance will look like in a few years (much less in the weeks to come), I believe the near-term trajectory of employer-sponsored medical insurance will be much less dramatic. Most employers will choose to "stay the course," rather than tweak plan designs by moving deductibles and copays up or down. And forgoing the opportunity to make big changes will likely earn them some employee loyalty points — at least in the short term — given the uncertainty on health care coming from Washington, D.C.  

However, we will experience a shift in the HR world. Specifically, a broadening of how HR professionals see their roles in managing employee benefits as a whole — not only in the workplace, but also in an employee's overall life. Why? Because employees are working longer hours than ever before, glued to their laptops at work, home, on the road, and in many cases, on vacation. This has led to an increase in mental burn out, pushing employees to switch jobs more frequently. That's where non-traditional benefits can play a key role, and where I believe we'll see the biggest change in our industry in the next few years.

In fact, large employers with a lot of resources at their disposal, such as Google and Facebook, have already lead the charge in this burgeoning area of employee benefits. New workplace enhancements, such as nap pods and free, chef-prepared meals may sound unusual to some, but have all made office life much more enjoyable. I expect smaller employers to take notice and grab on to these kinds of employee benefits.

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