As more employees go in for health insurance cover for themselves as well as for their dependents, group insurance premiums payable by corporates are on the rise.
With medical inflation at 15-18 per cent in India, organisations are experiencing a similar increase in their group medical insurance premiums, notes Sanjay Kedia, CEO, Marsh India Insurance Brokers, a multinational risk management company.
He adds that insurance cover to parents, as part of employees’ family insurance, is back after having been discontinued for the past few years, as also are other health and wellness programmes.
Underscoring the need to ensure employee wellness at companies, Rajeshwar Tripathi, Chief People Officer, Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra, states that if ever there “was a single parameter that impacted employee engagement the most, it was the health and wellness dimension.”
In a recent survey conducted by Marsh, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York-listed Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global professional services firm, almost 35 per cent of organisations surveyed said they offered employees family insurance on a voluntary basis, with 41 per cent sponsoring parent cover too.
Some 1,035 organisations from 12 countries participated in the survey which was conducted across China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and India, among others.
The survey noted that 19 per cent of the organisations that had not covered parents last year did so this year.
Though Asia lags behind other developed regions in offering choice in employee benefits, Kedia notes that in the past few years many organisations have moved away from a one-size-fits-all approach.
“Increasingly, voluntary programmes built into group insurance schemes have seen employees exercising the option to take on additional cover as per their requirements,” says Kedia.
“Around 18 per cent of the surveyed organisations offer some sort of employee choice through voluntary and top-up plans, and an additional 16 per cent offer varied benefits around wellness and lifestyle outside of insurance.
Employees can choose one or more benefits and package them to their preference,” he adds. Though design changes provide immediate respite from premium increase, “for a sustainable programme, the entire benefits strategy needs to be re-looked.
The trend to move towards defined contribution from defined benefits by offering choice is the next step in benefits management,” Kedia said.
Curated from: Firms step up family cover for employees: survey