Benefitfocus offers benefits platform for laid off employees

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Benefitfocus is making a variety of affordable health plans available for employees who have been offered COBRA by employers with a new platform.

The website provides high-quality, cost-effective benefits to employers who are facing a cycle of workforce transition, and their affected employees. Within Benefitplace, workers who have been displaced and need options will be able to access health plans, supplemental benefits and employment resources, like temporary or freelance employment opportunities with Benefitplace partners and customers.

“We wanted to set up a community where HR and benefits people can access information around furloughs and layoff best practices, third party articles, contributions from our own HR and benefits team,” says Jeff Oldham a senior vice president with Benefitfocus.

When an employee is laid off, it is considered a qualified life event, Oldham says, which means that person is now eligible for a state or federal health insurance exchange policy, a benefit most employees are unaware of.

“Our site helps people in evaluating their state exchange options and we have other plans called short term medical, which fills the gaps between jobs,” Oldham says.

More than six million people have applied for unemployment in the U.S. since the outbreak of the coronavirus. In a recent survey from Prudential, more than half (54%) of Americans say they are not financially prepared to handle a disease like the coronavirus. About 45% of those surveyed say they are worried about how quarantining will impact their ability to work.

Benefitfocus also wanted to help employers stay connected with their employees, especially those who have been let go due to the hardships placed on businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic. Smart Moments is a new connectivity tool within the platform that allows employers and employees to communicate and network through a job search resource.

“Employers didn’t want to say ‘Sorry, we have to let you go, and we’re done,’” Oldham says. “We have an understanding of the need for HR and benefits people want to protect and care for their employees while they are working through all these scenarios. Don’t miss this opportunity to explain to employees what their options are. When the economy rebounds, employees will be grateful for that kind of communication.”

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