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Return Better™ to a changed workplace

Find comprehensive solutions for employers and employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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Customizable and comprehensive solutions 

The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those for employers, will be felt for months, if not years, to come.

The need for testing and vaccination support will continue as you work to bring employees back to the workplace. And other issues, like those associated with the deferral of care and mental health, will need to be addressed quickly.

We can support these needs with customized, comprehensive solutions designed to help employees return better.

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  • Comprehensive and customizable solutions

    Return Confident
    Confidently and safely return to work and life

    Return Healthy
    Heal physically, emotionally and financially from the pandemic

    Return Resilient
    A new appreciation for health and well-being

    Return Empowered
    Reclaim control from the COVID-19 pandemic in the journey to the next normal

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6.3M+ total tests
have been collected by Optum Serve.

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4 in 10 adults
deferred care as of June 2020 due to COVID-191

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> 30% of adults
reported symptoms of depression or anxiety2


The many faces of pandemic recovery

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, it is important to understand that recovery looks different for everyone. But there are important steps employers can take to help.

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Video: How Employers Can Help in Pandemic Recovery | Optum

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, some face a tougher recovery.
Gender identity
All play a role

How can employers help?

Callie Chamberlain Healing and recovery is going to look a little bit different for everyone, and maybe a little bit different for every organization and every industry.

Barb Boudreau It's time to hear the voices of those impacted and take action.

Challenge: Vaccine hesitancy

VO: “My employer doesn’t understand why I don’t trust the health care system. They keep pushing vaccines without answering my questions.”

Vaccine hesitant adults
28% More likely to get vaccine if offered paid leave for vaccination and recovery

Kaiser Family Foundation

Callie There's a lot of different kinds of reasons why people might be hesitant or not want to vaccinate. And those things are all valid and require conversation and some empathy

PIVOT, the Priority Identification Vaccine Operating Tool, gives employers access to the data, analytics, and visualizations needed to optimize cleaning, administration, and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines at a zip code level.

Challenge: Uneven economic recovery

VO: “I don’t know how I will dig myself out of this financial hole. It has impacted my security. My future.”

Jobs lost
Feb. 2020 - Feb. 2021
Women 5.1M
Men 4.4M

Return to pre-pandemic levels
Women 2024
Men 2020

Barb Employees are likely voicing their concerns. They may not be saying it for a request for a specific benefit, but they're talking about the anxieties that they're feeling and the areas of their life that they're really struggling with.

It's important that we find ways to ensure employees have equal access to resources that will improve their future. A great example is lifestyle spending accounts.

These employer-funded accounts provide financial resources for continuing education, self-improvement, overall wellbeing, and more.

Another example is the crisis relief account. Employers can help their employees with life's necessities, like rent, utilities, groceries and child care

Challenge: Delaying care

VO: “It’s hard to feel supported during pregnancy when I feared getting sick by going to the doctor.”

Up to 60%
Women skipping postpartum visits

Callie As a birth doula, I know how important this type of support is for people, especially if it's their first time navigating pregnancy.

I love Maven because it allows holistic support that can guide pregnant people and their partners throughout the experience of being pregnant, labor, and delivery.

Another thing that I really love about Maven is that they have a human-centered app experience, so people are able to receive personalized care. and they're able to receive support from advocates that can help them navigate the system. 

Together, we can make pandemic recovery more equal.


Barb Just listening and hearing what employees are saying and, ah, the challenges that they're facing can drive in the direction for an employer on the types of benefits that employees might be looking for.

Callie  Together, by hearing the voices of all of those impacted, we can move on and we can heal.

That’s how we Return BetterTM

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Related resources 



COVID-19 vaccines

See how we're partnering with employers to help operationalize their COVID-19 vaccination programs.

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Biometric screenings for the COVID-19 situation

Support employee health and well-being by adding at-home kits to your biometric program.

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Behavioral Health virtual visits

Optum Behavioral Health virtual visits are real-time, video-enabled sessions with a provider.

View sell sheet



Navigating a way to Return Better

Discover approaches employers can use to support their employees through the changing dynamics of COVID-19.

View video

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Delay or Avoidance of Medical Care Because of COVID-19–Related Concerns — United States, June 2020.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anxiety and Depression.