Virtual doctor appointment Employers are expanding access to virtual mental health and emotional well-being services in 2021 as a way to address provider shortages, minimize wait times and reduce the stigma of seeking care. (Photo: fizkes/

The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting employers of all sizes to rethink what and how benefits are offered to their employees. Large employers in particular have been well-positioned to lead the way in rethinking health and benefits strategies. This year, in light of the pandemic, expanding virtual care offerings to employees and to beefing up mental health services are topping the priority liest, according to a survey by Business Group on Health, a nonprofit group representing major employers.

The cost of health benefits is expected to rise 5.3% in 2021, a slightly higher rate than the 5% increases employers projected in each of the past five years, the survey said. As in recent years, employers will cover nearly 70% of costs while employees will bear 30%.

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Charles Toutant

Charles Toutant is a litigation writer for the New Jersey Law Journal.

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