News: Survey reveals why employer-sponsored wellness programs go untapped

Corporate Wellness Programs

Survey reveals why employer-sponsored wellness programs go untapped

The Health Report of Corporate India 2023, based on a survey of over 3,500 Indian organizations, identifies key reasons behind the low adoption rate of corporate-sponsored wellness programs.
Survey reveals why employer-sponsored wellness programs go untapped

Barely 30% of employees participate in company-sponsored wellness programs, as revealed by a study conducted by Plum. The survey covered employees from over 3,500 organizations in India, providing insights into the reality of well-being initiatives in the workplace.

The report, titled 'Health Report of Corporate India 2023,' also highlights the scenario of medical expenses. Approximately 71% of employees end up bearing last-mile healthcare expenses out of their pocket, which roughly averages 5% of their annual income. Additionally, only 8% of them can avail of discounted medicines, and less than 1% benefit from sponsored eyesight check-ups.

Why is there low adoption of wellness programs?

The study also examined the factors contributing to this low adoption rate, especially considering the heightened demand for wellness, especially in the post-COVID era. The key reasons are:

Plum's Health Report of Corporate India 2023

Age factor: The study underlined that the utilization of employer-sponsored wellness programs is only half as prevalent among individuals aged 20-30 compared to those aged 51 and above. Across all age groups, 42% of employees have shown interest in the availability of 'flex benefits,' allowing them to select their healthcare plans.

Absence of chronic illness coverage and comprehensive benefits: Another key factor identified through this survey is that a staggering 85% of employees with chronic illnesses don't feel supported by their employers. Additionally, only a small number of companies, less than 5%, provide thorough healthcare options like insurance, telehealth, and other health benefits for their employees.

Insufficient healthcare access for dependents: Furthermore, the crucial factor preventing employees from accessing well-being programs is the insufficient healthcare access available for their loved ones. According to the survey results, about 30% of all telehealth consultations happened in non-metro cities, with 55% by employees and 45% by their dependents. The most common consultations were with a General Physician (24%), for Mental Health (18%), and with a Dermatologist (21%). Surprisingly, only 12% of companies offer telehealth support to their employees.

Explaining the survey findings, Saurabh Arora, Co-founder and CTO of Plum, commented, “An average person spends 90,000 hours working. That’s almost a third of their life. Employee health should be a top priority for organizations, not only from a humanitarian perspective but also as a strategic investment in their workforce. Hence, health insurance alone is not enough. Companies should adopt comprehensive healthcare benefits that accommodate insurance, primary, and preventive care."

Jayanth Ganapathy, Head of Healthcare and Wellness at Plum, added, “Companies that work with a long-term approach to create an impact on health outcomes rather than seeing healthcare as engagement activities will tend to see much better returns on their healthcare investments.”

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs, Other employee benefits, #HRCommunity, #Wellbeing

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