5 Up-and-Coming Specialty Benefits

Nick Park

5 New Specialty Benefits that Will Drive Engagement | Corporate Synergies

New specialty benefits startups are a thing and some are stealing the spotlight. Here are 5 options that can take benefits program customization to new heights.

As Seen in Employee Benefits Pro

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These days, the most successful startup businesses combine customization and innovation. From subscription box services to car vending machines, consumers can find any product or service redesigned to fit their individual needs.

Employee benefits consultants have also caught the startup bug. In fact, dozens of new specialty benefits startups have opened their doors, kicking off a customized benefits revolution.

We share their belief that customization minimizes waste and improves usage to create a happier, healthier workforce.


With new specialty benefits startups appearing every month, it can be hard to keep up.

Here are our favorite employee benefits startups, and how they can help take your total rewards package to the next level.


1. Boost employee recognition with Bonusly.

No matter what is happening in the greater business world, employee recognition is important. Especially during these uncertain times, anxiety and stress can cause a downturn in productivity, while highly competitive, low-unemployment stretches call for increased attention on your top talent to ensure retention.

Bonusly is designed to make employee recognition—one of the easiest ways to boost job satisfaction, keeping productivity and retention high—easier. The customizable program integrates with some of your favorite internal communications platforms (enter: Slack) and offers a kudos system that can be built up and exchanged cash prizes in the form of gift cards to top retailers.

Bonusly makes exceptional work visible to everyone in your organization, boosting morale and creating a shared sense of purpose and positivity.


2. Simplify healthcare with Omaiven Health.

For employees, finding the right healthcare provider can be stressful. For employers, it can be costly. With more than a third of medical diagnoses later classified as misdiagnoses, it’s important to choose the right specialist and seek a second opinion when necessary.1

Omaiven Health simplifies this process with an application powered by artificial intelligence. It connects employees with the right provider based on their symptoms and existing conditions while providing plain language descriptions of their medical information. It also schedules appointments and provides guidance on getting the most of care.


3. Reengage with meQuilibrium.

Workplace stress, distraction and disengagement are bad for business. Aside from the cost of lost productivity and impact on company culture, excessive stress results in an estimated $120 billion in healthcare bills annually.2

meQuilibrium, a Boston startup, delivers 24/7, confidential stress reduction, career coaching and engagement tools backed by data. The solution combines a variety of specially designed assessments to measure wellbeing, engagement, productivity, stress, motivation and focus with one-on-one coaching to create personalized goals and provide encouragement.


4. Maintain a strong foundation with Hinge Health.

Are you sensing a theme in our recommendations? Preventive health and wellness are keys to lower healthcare costs and improved employee satisfaction. This startup attempts to tackle one of the biggest offenders: chronic back pain, the leading cause of missed-work days in the United States.3

Hinge Health uses wearable technology to analyze posture and movement, then offers personalized exercise coaching. Hinge Health has reported its users have a 69% reduction in pain, which outpaces even risky opioid treatment plans.4


5. Support growing families with Ovia Health.

Family benefits are one of the most buzzed-about topics in human resources and total reward circles, and for good reason. Millennial employees are reaching management level positions within their companies, thanks in part to their decision to put off parenthood. Now, as they look to start and grow their families, these employees are looking to their employers for guidance. This is an opportunity for employers to implement programs that retain high-value talent.

Ovia Health is a comprehensive family benefits solution that includes applications for fertility tracking, infertility treatments, symptom tracking, telehealth and plan education. Using these features drives down healthcare costs, improves provider choice and minimizes unexpected complications. It also provides confidential comfort and support. Then, when your employee is ready to return to work, they provide reintegration programming and tips.

In a perfect world, we’d all love to include all of these powerhouses—and then some—in our total reward package. However, roadblocks like budget and population size can get in the way.

When it comes time to build the perfect employee benefits offering, your employee benefits broker can review your needs and see what may already be available through your carrier. Your broker will also recommend the most useful options based on your workforce demographics and calculate where customization will get the most mileage in your budget.

Your broker will also remind you to implement employee education and communication strategies that ensure your workforce is aware of the new benefits you’ve added to your program. Their engagement will depend upon awareness and access to tools for easy enrollment.

1HR Dive, “To Cut Healthcare Costs, More Employers are Offering Second Opinion Services”
2American Psychiatric Association, “Workplace Stress”
3Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, “Chronic Back Pain”
4Hinge Health, “Digital Care for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: a 10,000 User Longitudinal Observational Study”


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