2020 Benefits Year in Review

2020 Benefits Year in Review

If this year has proven anything, it’s that nobody has a crystal ball (or one that works anyway!) Last December 2020, the Talking Benefits podcast team made some predictions for the year ahead. Though we were widely off, we spent the latest podcast episode addressing those predictions and doing our best to speculate trends for 2021.

Looking Back

Looking back, we thought the big benefits industry disrupters over the past year would be:

  1. The November election
  2. The DOL’s fiduciary rule
  3. Student loan assistance as a benefit
  4. Prescription drugs
  5. Health care industry changes.

In this episode, we talked about how changes did occur in each of these areas over 2020 but perhaps not in the way we thought they would. The biggest benefit changes this year included flexible work arrangements, telemedicine benefits, expansion of mental health benefits, health care costs (specifically related to the number of claims), increased focus on diversity, equity and inclusion issues, childcare/eldercare benefits, and at-work perks.

Looking Forward

Looking forward, our 2021 watch list includes:

  1. COVID vaccines
  2. Will ACA survive the Supreme Court?
  3. Final rules surrounding health care coverage transparency
  4. The bipartisan SECURE Act.

As always, watch the Foundation’s Word on Benefits® blog and tune in to future Talking Benefits episodes for updates throughout the year!

Update: After our episode was released, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration released their finalized prohibited transaction class exemption for investment advice fiduciaries. The exemption is effective as of February 16, 2021.

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Anne Patterson

Anne Patterson
Communications Associate at the International Foundation

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