Majority of plan sponsors and members rate their health plans as excellent or good: survey

“It’s encouraging to see more people saying their benefits plan is great or good at a time when we’ve made significant investments in virtual care and other supports for remote employees and those struggling with mental health issues,” said Julie Gaudry, Group Insurance Manager. at RBC Insurance and member of the advisory board, in the report. “This is an important finding given the current tight labor market and our own research, which found that 64% of employees would leave their current job for a job with better benefits.”

Read: 74% of employers say cost is the most important element of benefit plan design, review: survey

More than two-thirds (69%) of employers said they offer a traditional health insurance plan, while 29% offer a flexible plan and 2% were unsure. When asked to choose the primary goal of their health insurance plan from a list of eight options, plan sponsors cited employee attraction and retention (21%) as the top reason, followed by protecting employees from excessive financial burden (17%). keeping employees healthy and productive (16%), providing peace of mind (15%) and covering routine medical needs (13%).

“The whole point of offering a health insurance plan is attraction and retention,” said Barb Martinez, national drug solutions practice leader. at Canada Life Assurance Co. and member of the advisory board, in the report. “This is also reflected in the top concerns — competitiveness is number 1. But then plan sponsors are most concerned about sustainability. So we enrich our plans while asking ourselves, “Can we really afford to do this? »

The survey also revealed that 83% of plan sponsors said they had at least one major concern about their health insurance plan, including competitiveness (37%), overall viability (31%), sustainability of the drug plan (31%), sustainability of dental plan (31%), utilization of paramedical services (26%), absence and disability rates (23%), benefit fraud/abuse of benefit plan (22%), lack of time for long-term strategy, opportunities, etc. (17 per cent), increasing number of appeals or complaints (15 per cent) and inability to make major changes due to collective agreements (14 per cent).

Read: Employers are leveraging benefits and flexibility to prevent pandemic spike in disability claims

More than half (56%) of plan sponsors who offer a short-term disability benefit were concerned about its use, up from 49% in 2021. Notably, 51% of plan sponsors who offer a short-term disability benefit workers were concerned, up from 46% in 2021. Employers with unionized workforces were more concerned about STDs (72%) and LTDs (65%) than those who were not unionized (47% for STDs and 44% for ILDs). Additionally, employers with flexible plans were also more concerned about STD (65%) and LTD (62%) than those with traditional plans (51% STD and 46% LTD ).

Participants in benefit plans that include virtual health care (92%) were more likely to describe the quality of their health insurance plan as excellent or good than those without the service (69%) . Plan members who rate their personal health as excellent or very good (89%) were also more likely to rate the quality of their health insurance plan as excellent or very good than those in poor health (52%) . Additionally, respondents with a culture of well-being at work (84%) were more likely to think this than those without (54%), while those who were satisfied with their job (83%) were more likely to describe the quality of their health insurance plan as excellent or good than those who were dissatisfied (49%).

Almost two-thirds (61%) of plan members said their benefit plans met their needs extremely or very well, up from 57% in 2021. However, the percentage of respondents who felt their benefit plans met their needs extremely or very well was significantly lower than the 73% who felt the same way in 1999, when the question was first asked. Only seven percent said their plan did not meet their needs, an increase from 10 percent who expressed this sentiment in 2021. The percentage of respondents who were dissatisfied with their plans rose to 17 percent among those in poor overall health and 15 percent. hundred among people with poor mental health.

Read: Sounding Board: Virtual care, pharmacists contributing to reinvigorated Canadian well-being, productivity

About Evelyn C. Heim

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