Employees of MassMutual are starting off the new year with a slew of new benefit offerings, including coverage of gender identity procedures, expanded fertility benefits and more paid time off to bond with a new child, grieve a death, take care of a loved one and volunteer, the company said Wednesday.
The new employee benefits program, which took effect Jan. 1 for all of the company‚Äôs 7,500 full-time and part-time employees, is a volley in the life insurance giant‚Äôs appeal to attract a more diverse talent pool.
The move follows a continuing trend of employers beefing up policies and implementing new benefits in a hot job market. In the last year, scores of employers, including Disney, Walmart and Starbucks, have made significant changes to their benefits packages, citing a desire to recruit and retain top talent while at the same time helping to ease pain points for current employees and helping them to have a better work-life balance.
See also: 50 companies that made big benefits changes in 2018
While most employers have rolled out new benefits one at a time, MassMutual announced a significant revamp of its entire benefits package.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs the right thing to do, and it‚Äôs good business to help attract and retain talent,‚ÄĚ Claudia Coplein, MassMutual‚Äôs head of health and wellness, says of the changes. ‚ÄúOur goal was to offer a progressive and flexible benefits program that supports the evolving needs of our employees and their families at all stages of life.‚ÄĚ
Among MassMutual‚Äôs benefits additions is a new volunteer program that provides three days of paid time off to employees annually to give back to their communities; behavioral health counseling services; unlimited access to an oncology nurse who provides concierge-level service for employees with cancer; and a new caregiving policy that provides employees up to two weeks paid leave to care for a loved one who is suffering from a serious health condition.
For the caregiving benefit, it is at the discretion of the employee to define who a ‚Äúloved one‚ÄĚ is, and there is no requirement that the person is an immediate or extended family member, MassMutual notes.
That same philosophy of not defining employee relationships extends to the company‚Äôs updated bereavement policy, which now allows employees to take up to 15 days of paid time off for any loved one. Previously the company‚Äôs bereavement policy included a set number of days by specified family member.
‚ÄúWith today‚Äôs definition of family evolving, we recognize that there is no one typical family structure, nor is family relation the only way to define how much someone means to you, and so we have aligned our offerings accordingly,‚ÄĚ Coplein says.
MassMutual also enhanced its fertility and gender affirmation benefits.
Its fertility benefits will provide more medical and prescription-drug coverage, MassMutual says, as well as personalized support through partnerships with fertility companies Ovia Health and Progyny. Through Ovia Health, employees will now have access to fertility, pregnancy and parenting advice and resources. Through Progyny, employees will have full treatment and medication coverage for IUI, IVF, egg freezing and more, as well as unlimited guidance and personalized support from a patient care advocate and access to a network of fertility physicians.
MassMutual‚Äôs gender affirmation benefits now include previously non-covered procedures, such as facial feminization surgery, thyrochondroplasty, electrolysis and more. The company has been covering medically necessary services related to gender affirmation surgery since 2014.
The company also expanded its parental leave policy; it now provides 18 weeks of fully paid leave for birth mothers, up from six to eight weeks. All other new parents are eligible for eight weeks of paid leave, up from three weeks.
A handful of companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Est√©e Lauder and Walmart, have introduced or beefed up parental leave policies in the last year.