“Workforce Health Strategy: AEO’s Approach to Whole Population Engagement”

Recently, we held a webinar focused on integrating health benefits and workforce strategy.  Attendees heard from Richa Gupta (Castlight), Tammy Fennessy (American Eagle Outfitters), and Dustin Defabo (Willis Towers Watson).  It was again reiterated that one size does not fit all in healthcare.

Three new trends came to a head for employers in healthcare this year. These include:

1. Employees well-being

2. Mental Health – behavioral treatment is on the rise

3. Health Equity – the pandemic intensified the existing health inequality

When the pandemic hit, at the top of the priority list for AEO was to protect their people and their business. They worked with PBGH and advisory councils to achieve their #1 goal. AEO wanted to prove to their employees that they cared about their well-being. They shifted to a holistic health plan model versus operational safety. They implemented on-site solutions, added telehealth to the coverage, and covered all premiums.

If the pandemic proved anything, it showed that the key is being prepared. AEO wants to be one step ahead of the next wave of popular healthcare needs. Due to the pandemic, they are on the lookout for:

1. Mental health – Telehealth is very popular for treatment.

2. Outpatient care – such as colonoscopies and cancer screenings. Many put these on hold during the pandemic.  Preventative health is so important!

3. Baby boom – include maternal health and pediatric care in health plans.

AEO employers took care of their employees during the pandemic. They thought of them as family. In return, this created a loyalty. AEO was able to go full force as normalcy returned because they had their staff waiting and ready to go.

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