The so-called “Great Resignation” is well underway, and companies are under more pressure than ever to provide meaningful and valuable benefits to their employees. What were maybe once thought of as perks or nice-to-haves are now cost of entry due to competitive hiring, as well as the emergence of exciting new offerings to support fertility, mental health, caregiving and more, from innovative providers that are making these benefits accessible and economical for companies of every size.
As shifting expectations around work have upended the traditional benefits landscape, adding to the complexity for HR professionals is that employees and job seekers nowadays place a higher value on benefits that support their lifestyle, not just financial protections. Think paid time off and workplace flexibility, which were the top two most requested benefits by employees in 2021.(1) That’s in part because more and more people see the benefits a company offers as a reflection of its culture and demonstration of its values.
To say it another way, employees want to know if companies are putting their money where their mouth is. They want to know that employers appreciate the whole person they are, and that the companies they choose to work for will value them and their time away from the job as much as during normal working hours.
Although available as an employee benefit for some time now, pet wellness plans and pet insurance have also been subject to the same cultural change and category innovations of late. For example, at Wagmo we recognize how important pets have become to employees and their families, and we also recognize the gaps in care and other challenges with standard pet insurance products in the workplace. The biggest gap we see, surprisingly, is between the number of families in the U.S. who have pets and the number of employers who currently offer pet benefits; 70% to 15%, respectively.(2,3)
What To Ask About Pet Wellness And Pet Insurance
If your company doesn’t currently offer employee pet benefits and has no plans to, the first question you have to ask yourself is, why not? People in every generation and at every life stage love their pets like family, and pet benefits give you a unique opportunity to reach a wide range of employees wherever they are in the journey.
But if you are among the many forward-thinking employers who are considering adding employee pet benefits to the mix, be sure to ask yourself these important questions to help find the best, most rewarding pet benefits for your team:
- Is the pet benefit accepted everywhere or only with “in-network” providers? If it’s a provider network, is it convenient for your employees and locations?
- Is it a benefit that can be offered to your entire employee population? Are there any limitations or state-by-state requirements that affect eligibility?
- Are there plan restrictions for age, breed or pre-existing conditions? How might this impact your ability to provide for the majority of employees?
- How will employees access the benefit and be reimbursed for costs? Will payment take hours, days or weeks?
- Will adding the benefit add any additional technology or integration requirements for the company and HR team?
- Do employees have to pay for a portion of the benefit, or is it something they can get at no cost to them?
- Finally, will employees experience the value of the benefit regularly, or is it more for peace of mind in case catastrophe strikes?
How To Choose The Best Employee Pet Benefits
If you run through the points above, you might find that pet wellness benefits check a lot of the boxes pet insurance can’t. To be sure, pet wellness and pet insurance offer valuable protections that safeguard employee income and peace of mind, and Wagmo does offer both. However, only our pet wellness plan provides an immediate benefit at no cost to employees that pays them cash back for everyday pet care costs. And different from pet insurance, your employees won’t have to experience an accident or pet catastrophe before they can start to see the value. It’s a benefit they’ll love to use as an investment in lifelong pet health.
The Wagmo Wellness plan is also something every working pet parent in every U.S. state can use right now, with the same preferred veterinarians and providers they’re already using. There’s no waiting period or insurance-like requirements, no restrictions for location, age, breed or pre-existing condition, and there’s no cost for employees. It takes only two minutes for employees to enroll online, and to submit a claim they just take a picture of the receipt, upload the photo, and in 24 hours or less get reimbursed via Venmo, PayPal or bank transfer.
For employers, Wagmo is affordable, completely turnkey and can launch in about a week with no required technology or integrations. Which means there’s really only one question left: are you ready to help your employees, families and their pets thrive with Wagmo Wellness benefits? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our employer page to learn more.
- Unum Benefits Survey of 1,500 U.S. Employees, January 2021
- APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 2021-2022
- SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, 2019