Communicating on health benefitsMonday August 25, 2014 Written by Brandi Cowen
Many employers are ill-equipped to develop strategic health benefit plans that meet the future needs of employees of all ages.
The 2014 edition of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey revealed that the needs of Baby Boomers are vastly different from those of Gen Y employees, and many employers are struggling to deliver health benefits that appeal to both types of workers.
Health benefits are important to all generations of plan members, with 78 per cent of employees reporting that the health benefit plan is an important factor when choosing a job. On this issue, Baby Boomers (80 per cent) Gen X (76 per cent) and Gen Y (76 per cent) are largely in agreement.
Despite the importance employees place on their health benefits, plan sponsors and providers do not appear to be communicating about how plans are being used. Just 36 per cent of plan sponsors report regularly receiving an analysis of claims data from their plan providers in order to help them better understand how employees are using plans. An additional 20 per cent report receiving this type of information occasionally.
Among those who do receive this type of data, about half (49 per cent) use it to develop targeted improvements to their plans.
"We believe the health care of Canadians in general would benefit from further partnership, information sharing and data analysis," said Jon Fairest, president and CEO of Sanofi Canada. "The same applies to employers and health care benefit providers. By regrouping and setting goals to optimize health and productivity, plan sponsors will reap the returns of reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and an engaged workforce that helps drive organizational success."