In fact, more than one in three Canadian workers in 2016 is a millennial, ranging in age from 18 to 34. That means millennials have the largest share in the country’s workforce, and as more finish college and enter the working world, the number will only increase.
Traditionally, a company’s employee benefits package serves as one key way to appeal to job candidates. Millennials, however, have a different range of criteria than other age groups. And they’re not necessarily swept off their feet by a typical employee benefits package.
Just under half of all millennials consider their overall benefits package to be very important for their job satisfaction. As a result, it's very important for employers to understand what millennials expect from an employee benefits plan.
One of the key elements that millennials are seeking in an employee benefits package is flexibility. As such, flexible plans like Health Spending Accounts (HSAs), are on the rise as employers look to recruit and retain young workers.
HSAs offer incredible plan flexibility, which is not found with traditional insurance plans. Employees all have diverse healthcare needs, and traditional plans that put caps on health categories and specify what type of health-related expenses can be claimed do not offer much flexibility. Millennials find this aspect to be too restrictive.
For example, Devon Wright, a millennial in Ontario who worked as a financial analyst for three years at one of Canada's biggest banks, never once used his company health plan.
"There was just nothing there that was of any interest to me," he explained.
With a Health Spending Account, employees can use their flex credits at their own discretion. One employee with a bad back can spend all his credits on massage therapy, and your other employee with bad vision can spend all her credits on contact lenses and prescription glasses. Employees aren’t restricted to only spending a certain amount of their health benefits on certain categories that they have no use for.
As such, under an HSA, millennial employees aren't complaining about how they don’t like what’s covered and what isn’t, or do not like the limits being imposed on them. If they want better coverage for orthodontic work, drug coverage, massage therapy, or other eligible health category, they get it with a Health Spending Account.
This significant flexibility is why employers are now embracing HSAs more than ever in an effort to best attract and retain talented millenials.