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Top 3 Healthcare Trends for People-first Organisations to Watch Out for in 2021

Team AckoSep 14, 2021

2020 was a year where every company had to put technology and innovation at the center of everything to sustain. In 2021, along with technology-driven change, healthcare would remain at the forefront for many employees and even employers.

Healthcare Trends of 2021 for People-first Organisations

The Rising Role of Healthcare Programs

While employers are mulling over how to design relevant employee benefits programs for their employees, employees are becoming equally cautious about the wellness benefits corporates are offering. They are becoming more health-conscious and appreciating relevant healthcare benefits more than ever.

Companies are also realising the importance of coming across as a people-first organisation that values employees as much as the Return On Investment (ROI). More and more companies like Accenture, Google, Microsoft, SAS, Draper, Amazon, American Express are using healthcare programs as an engagement and retention tool. At the outset of the pandemic, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India made it mandatory for all employers to offer group insurance scheme to their employees.

The starting point is to have mechanisms in place for incorporating technological-led healthcare transformations. These mechanisms will take center 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 will play out in 2021.

Customised and Comprehensive Insurance for Employees

Some employers view employer health insurance as just another hygiene product as compared to a solid financial backup for the employees when they face a medical emergency. This perception leads to the purchase of group health plans with co-share of premium, voluntary deductibles, or co-pay on claims to reduce costs. Moreover, these features provide insufficient coverage to the employees. The result is often the failure of healthcare programs that just remain on the papers rather than employees truly using it.

Providing a wholesome health insurance policy that encompasses all health-related requirements is virtually the most important health trend of 2021. A plan with a high sum insured that is sufficient for the employee, his/her spouse, children, and parents (including in-laws if possible) are most sought after. Along with this, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Hence, it is vital that healthcare benefits can 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 can increase their 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 help your employees. Plus, a super-easy, transparent and quick claim settlement system would be the need of the hour.

The Surge of Teleconsultations and Quality Remote Care

Healthcare has often been termed as a laggard when it comes to adopting digital tools. However, the pandemic completely changed this. While the pandemic compelled people to stay within the four walls of the home - one trend was clear. It is the surge of digital consultations.

As one prefers to remain in a comfortable, safe, and sanitised environment than going out in public, more people transitioned to teleconsultations for essential needs. Social distancing, as opposed to socialising, has propelled the popularity of teleconsultations.

Even the elderly who were reluctant to embrace the new-age technology agreed to connect with doctors on Zoom or Google Meet.

As per a report by the health-tech platform Practo, about 5 crore people in India accessed healthcare online between March 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020.

Here are the key insights from the report:

  1. 500% increase in online doctor consultations since March 2020

  2. 80% of telemedicine users experienced it for the first time

  3. 44% of teleconsultations were from non-metro cities

  4. In-person doctor visits dropped by 67%

  5. Indians consulted their doctors 2 times per month, using telemedicine

Facilitating your employees with resources or platforms that enable the use of remote care will be valued more. The Indian healthcare industry is gradually transitioning to digitally-enabled remote consultations from traditional in-person doctor-patient interaction. 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 can access these services easily for free/discounted rates via their health insurance plan.

Pro Tip: An all-inclusive plan comprising of free teleconsultation sessions, prompt query resolution, quick turnaround, and a network of hospitals and credible healthcare professionals can help you stay on top of your employee wellness benefits program.

An Era of Preventive Care

"Precaution is better than cure" has got a whole new meaning since the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks, sanitisers, immunity boosters, and social distancing are all part of preventive care against the disease.

Preventive care is expected to take a higher spot soon. Thus, including it in your employee package can become a USP for the organisation. Screening of blood and other fluids should be done routinely for all employees. These have a two-pronged benefit - 1. Early detection of disease, which is easy to cure. 2. Reduce the likelihood of the spread of infection.

Along with conducting regular health checkups, other tests like MRI, bone density, ECG can be scheduled periodically for a certain age group. Also, empowering your employees about the nitty-gritty of healthcare plans and new disease breakouts can go a long way in communicating that the company cares about the well-being of its employees.

Pro Tip: The best way to gain the trust of your employees is to provide an app that can track health in one place, so employees can take precautionary measures even before the disease becomes severe.

How Focusing on Healthcare Practices Help You Reduce Year-on-year Costs and Increase ROI?

The pandemic has brought about prominent changes in how the country handles healthcare.

Below are a few advantages of offering a robust employee health scheme and wellness benefits to your employees (apart from gaining trust, loyalty, and success).

  1. Employees will value the company only if they feel connected. They are most likely to have a longer stint and work towards the shared purpose, thus decreasing the hiring costs. 

  2. When you help employees take care of their health, the number of claims potentially reduces. In turn, the year-on-year cost spent on group health insurance will also go down. 

  3. A mentally and physically healthy person can perform better. Disengaged or unproductive employees cost more than investment in engagement programs.

ACKO’s Group Health Policy for People-first Organisations

ACKO helps you take care of your team's health by providing them with healthcare tools and wholesome insurance plans. ACKO's health platform comes with multiple benefits that address your employee's fitness needs under a single roof. Here is a list of facilities that you and your employees get to enjoy with ACKO:

  • Unlimited free teleconsultations with renowned doctors and access to 5,000+ network hospitals.

  • Everything under one place. Access to preventive care, insurance, fitness tracking, telemedicine, lab tests with a single tap.

  • Option to customise insurance plans with add-ons.

  • Flexible payment options (monthly/quarterly/annually)

  • Immediate onboarding for new employees and up to 5 dependents.

The role of healthcare programs is only rising. Keeping in sync with industry trends and staying a notch ahead helps in demonstrating dynamism and agility.

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