Team AckoJan 12, 2022
2021 was mostly about tackling COVID-19’s second wave and focussing on vaccinations. It was a year where many organisations had to put technology and innovation at the centre of their ecosystem to sustain. In 2022, along with technology-driven changes, healthcare would remain at the forefront for many employees and employers due to the challenges posed by the virus and its variants.
While employers are mulling over designing relevant employee benefit programs, employees are becoming equally cautious about the wellness benefits offered by their employers. They are becoming more health-conscious and appreciating relevant healthcare benefits more than ever.
Companies also realise the importance of coming across as a people-first organisation that values employees as much as the Return On Investment (ROI).
More and more renowned companies like Accenture, Google, Microsoft, SAS, Draper, Amazon, American Express are using healthcare programs as an engagement and retention tool.
Also, at the outset of the pandemic, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) made it mandatory for all employers to offer group insurance to their employees.
There’s a need to have mechanisms in place for incorporating technology-led healthcare transformations. These mechanisms will take centre stage in the coming time, and people-first organisations must invest in such strategies to stay ahead of the curve. Forward-thinking leaders and managers need to stay updated on the latest healthcare trends to ensure they are offering relevant programs.
Here is a list of 3 healthcare trends that were significant in 2021 and will be crucial in 2022.
Some employers might view employer health insurance as just another hygiene product instead of considering it a solid financial backup for the employees in case of a medical emergency. This perception leads to the purchase of group health plans with only basic features to reduce costs.
Moreover, these basic features provide insufficient coverage to the employees. The result is often healthcare programs that remain on paper and end up as failures. Providing a wholesome health insurance policy that encompasses all health-related requirements is the need of the hour.
A plan with a higher sum insured for the employee, their spouse, children, and parents (including in-laws if possible) is most sought after.
A one-size-fits-all approach should be avoided. Healthcare benefits must be customised to make them more useful.
Employees can be empowered with choices to make healthcare plans more beneficial. For example, depending on their requirements, employees should be able to increase their policy’s sum insured and room rent limit or purchase top-up plans.
Pro tip: A comprehensive and customisable healthcare plan along with a sufficient amount of sum insured can prove helpful to the employees. Plus, a super-easy, transparent, and quick claim-settlement process would be ideal.
While the pandemic compelled people to stay within the four walls of their homes, one trend was clear — the surge of digital consultations.
As one preferred to remain in a safe and sanitised environment than going out in public, more people transitioned to teleconsultations for essential needs. Social distancing, as opposed to socialising, propelled the popularity of teleconsultations. Even the elderly who were reluctant to embrace the new-age technology agreed to connect with doctors online via Zoom, Google Meet, and other similar platforms.
As per a report by the health-tech platform Practo, about five crore people in India accessed healthcare online between March 1, 2020, and May 1, 2020. Here are the key insights from the report:
500% rise in doctor consultations performed online since March 2020.
80% of telemedicine users experienced it for the first time.
44% of teleconsultations came from cities classified as non-metros.
In-person doctor consultations declined by 67%.
Indians consulted their doctors two times per month, using telemedicine.
As it is evident from the report, the Indian healthcare industry is gradually transitioning to digitally-enabled remote consultations from traditional in-person doctor-patient interaction. Thus, facilitating employees with resources or platforms that enable remote care will be valued.
As per the EY-IPA study, the domestic telemedicine market is expected to touch USD 5.5 billion by 2025. Many players (Practo, Doctorinsta.com, 1mg) are trying to gain a share of this evolving industry. With virtual healthcare gaining traction, employees would appreciate it if they could access these services easily for free/discounted rates via their employer-offered health insurance plan.
Pro tip: An all-inclusive plan consisting of free teleconsultation sessions, prompt query resolution, quick turnaround, and a vast network of hospitals and credible healthcare professionals is crucial to a rewarding employee wellness benefits program.
‘Precaution is better than cure’ has become a mantra since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks, sanitisers, immunity boosters, and social distancing are all part of preventive care against the disease.
Along the same lines, preventive care is expected to assume priority in overall healthcare. Thus, including it in the employee package can benefit the organisation.
Screening of blood and other fluids should be done routinely for all employees to be proactive.
Along with conducting regular health check-ups, other tests like MRI, bone density, ECG can be scheduled periodically for a certain age group.
Also, empowering the employees about the nitty-gritty of healthcare plans and new disease breakouts can go a long way in communicating that the company cares about their well-being.
Pro tip: The insurer must provide an app that can track employee health in one place so that the employees can take preventive measures even before the disease becomes severe.
Here are a few advantages of offering a robust employee health scheme and wellness benefits.
Employees will value their organisation when they feel connected. They are most likely to have a longer stint and work towards the shared purpose, thus decreasing the hiring costs.
When employers help employees take care of their health, the number of claims can potentially reduce. In turn, the year-on-year cost spent on group health insurance can also go down.
A mentally and physically healthy employee can perform better. Disengaged or unproductive employees cost more than investment in engagement programs.
ACKO's health platform offers multiple benefits that address your employees’ health needs under a single roof. Here is a list of facilities offered by ACKO.
Unlimited free teleconsultations with renowned doctors and access to 5,000+ network hospitals.
Everything under one place with access to preventive care, insurance, fitness tracking, telemedicine, and lab tests.
Option to customise insurance plans with add-ons.
Flexible payment options (monthly/quarterly/annually) for employers.
Immediate onboarding for new employees and up to five dependents.
The role of healthcare programs is only rising. Keeping in sync with industry trends and staying a notch ahead helps demonstrate dynamism and agility. ACKO helps you take care of your team's health by providing healthcare tools and wholesome insurance plans. All this without escalating your insurance budget and ensuring a hassle-free insurance experience for you and your employees.
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