Marsh India’s EH&B Survey 2017: Broaden your employee benefits insurance portfolio

The 9th edition of Marsh India’s Employee Health & Benefits Survey analyses both employer and employee perspectives, to gain a holistic view of the state of the market and finds 92 per cent employees look up to employer facilitated voluntary insurance plans to manage their risk exposure

A new market research report released by Marsh India shows 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.

According to Marsh India’s 9th annual Employee Health and Benefits Survey, 92 per cent employees stated that they are willing to share premium costs and buy voluntary insurance plans offered to them by their employers, with 33 per cent willing to spend one to two per cent and another 37 per cent willing to spend three to five per cent of their annual salaries on various voluntary insurance plans.

More than half of the employee respondents (53 per cent of those who are covered by group medical coverage and 57 per cent 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.

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Majority of the employees are keen to invest in top-up, outpatient department, and parents insurance plans to minimise their out of pocket expenses. Interestingly, almost 83 per cent are looking for options to customise the insurance offered by employer such as increasing room rent, maternity limits.

Almost 78 per cent employees are willing to spend Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000+ on voluntary parent insurance plans.

Sanjay Kedia, Country Head and CEO, Marsh India said, “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 programme 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.”

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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. Keeping pace with the past few years, the proportion of Indian organisations that facilitate parents’ coverage (fully employer paid plans and cost-shared plans) has increased to 80 per cent, from 76 per cent in the previous edition.

Organisations seem to adopt a strategy that is critical to sustainability of parents insurance plans – increasing in prevalence of cost-sharing plans. 35 per cent companies fully pay for parents insurance as against 41 per cent in 2015 and 45 per cent share premium cost as against 35 per cent in 2015. To keep the insurance premium cost in check, organisations have started looking beyond benefit cuts. Top three measures are – Implement and leverage on network cost efficiency, adopt preventive health and wellness measures and increase the voluntary insurance plans offered.

Interestingly there is lot of importance on making the insurance plans more holistic. Survey reveals that 31 per cent organisations have plan enhancements specific to address women employees, followed by 30 per cent towards medical advancements and 26 per cent for chronic conditions and long-term care needs.