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How are companies taking care of healthcare needs of their employees?

To retain their workforce and to boost their wellbeing, most companies provide health insurance covers along with other welfare measures like retirement benefits etc to their employees.

How are companies taking care of healthcare needs of their employees?
Health insurance not only serves as a motivating factor for the employees, but also reduces absenteeism due to illness with timely availability of treatment with no or reduced payouts.

To retain their workforce and to boost their wellbeing, most companies provide health insurance covers along with other welfare measures like retirement benefits etc to their employees.

Health insurance not only serves as a motivating factor for the employees, but also reduces absenteeism due to illness with timely availability of treatment with no or reduced payouts.

The widespread disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic also highlight the importance of having a health insurance cover. The widespread illness and loss of lives during Covid peaks made more people to seek health insurance covers and more companies to provide the facility to their employees.

Amrit Singh, Co-founder and CRO, Loop describes how companies are coming forward to provide healthcare insurance to their employees:

Wider Coverage

The pandemic has been a forcing function to make companies focus more on employee health than before. Group health insurance forms a core part of the health benefits package that companies offer today. Loop’s data indicates that around 65 per cent of companies only offer group health insurance as a health benefit. With a 500 million workforce in India, it is surprising to see that only 23 per cent of working Indians have an employer-provided group health policy. There is also disparity in coverage between employees who live and work for majo city-based companies and those that live in tier-2 and 3 cities and towns. Around 70 per cent of employees who work in major cities are covered by group health insurance.

Higher Coverage Amount

There are two shifts happening simultaneously. Firstly companies, during COVID, realised that the amount of cover provided to employees was not sufficient. Companies started increasing insurance cover and smaller economic segments also started buying health insurance for their employees. While this was a much needed and welcome move, it also pushed the cost of insurance upwards with premiums rates growing 40 per cent year on year during the pandemic. While group health insurance is a vital component of a health benefits plan, it is only a system of payment for healthcare services when one or one’s family falls sick. Health benefits plans that contain only group health insurance do nothing to keep an employee healthy. They are therefore incomplete.

Wellness Programmes

In order to deal with this gap, there is a second shift we are seeing in the market, where employers, in partnership with companies like Loop, are creating a holistic employee health and wellness programme, over and above the insurance cover that is being provided. It starts with measuring the state of employee health – across physical and mental dimensions. Companies are conducting annual health checkups and life-style disease camps to facilitate proactive testing of basic health parameters and conditions like diabetes and hypertension, that Indian employees are becoming more prone to. Secondly, they are educating their employees on preventive healthcare measures like eating right, improving their fitness, being more active, getting better sleep, among others. Mental health programmes have increased with many companies providing employee assistance programs (EAPs) on mental health. Employers have also, in partnership with companies like Loop, started providing access to doctors and medical advisors who are available to employees 24×7 to deal with any queries, consults or emergencies.

“In conclusion, there is an upswing in group health insurance cover being provided to employees to cover sick care, but coupled with preventive health and wellness services to ensure that employees stay healthy as well,” said Singh.

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