Are employers facilitating enough insurance cover for their staff?
The festivities have just started. While the e-commerce companies are going out of their way to lure consumers with great deals, on the other hand HR in every company is looking at newer employee engagement activities. But what is also important is, in this rushed moment of enjoyment, if employees’ emergency funds are ready – because life if uncertain, and are employers facilitating the insurance during the emergency for their employees.
In a report by Marsh India, published early in 2017 states that more than half of the surveyed employees depend on their own finances to address the top four risks – medical emergency, disability, loss of property, and loss of income. However, Marsh India’s survey showed a shift in employers’ outlook towards insured benefits. As compared to last five years, for the first time the median sum insured of medical insurance has increased from 300,000 to 350,000 along with an increase of 1,000 in room rent eligibility limit.
According to Marsh India’s 9th annual Employee Health and Benefits Survey, 92% employees stated that they are willing to share premium costs and buy voluntary insurance plans offered to them by their employers, with 33% willing to spend 1%-2% and another 37% willing to spend 3%-5% of their annual salaries on various voluntary insurance plans.
Sanjay Kedia, Country Head, and CEO of Marsh India, said in the report: “Globally, the working environment is transforming at a faster rate than ever, given the constant socio-economic changes and rising lifestyle standards. Employees form a critical asset in today’s knowledge-based economy and the workplace is an integral part of an employee’s life. A comprehensive benefit program creates a win-win situation for both for the employee and the employer: the employee benefits from an inclusive and cost competitive company facilitated plan, while for the employer it contributes to employee well-being, loyalty, and satisfaction.”
More than half of the employee respondents (53% of those who are covered by group medical coverage and 57% of those who are covered by group personal accidents) believe that the medical and accident insured benefit plans, respectively, provided by their employer are inadequate leading to out of pocket expenses.
Majority of the employees are keen to invest in top-up, outpatient department, and parents insurance plans to minimize their out of pocket expenses. Interestingly, almost 83% are looking for options to customize the insurance offered by the employer such as increasing room rent, maternity limits.
The proportion of Indian organizations that facilitate parents’ coverage (fully employer-paid plans and cost-shared plans) has increased to 80%, from 76% in the previous edition.
35% companies fully pay for Parents insurance as against 41% in 2015 and 45% share premium cost as against 35% in 2015 pointing to the fact that organizations seem to adopt a strategy that is critical to the sustainability of Parents insurance plans – increasing in the prevalence of cost-sharing plans.
To keep the insurance premium cost in check, organizations have started looking beyond benefit cuts. Top 3 measures are – Implement & leverage on network cost efficiency, adopt preventive health & wellness measures and increase the voluntary insurance plans offered.
Interestingly there is a lot of importance on making the insurance plans more holistic. Survey reveals that 31% organizations have plan enhancements specific to address women employees, followed by 30% towards medical advancements and 26% for chronic conditions & long term care needs.