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How Offering Preventive Healthcare for Employees Can Save Future Costs

Team AckoAug 27, 2021

As per a 2021 Finance Commission report, close to 70% of health expenses are made out-of-pocket by the patients. Such an approach nudges around 60 million people into poverty on an annual basis.1 You as an employer must make sure that your employees don’t fall in this category. While offering a well-rounded Group Health Insurance Plan is a step in the right direction to achieve this, the plan must also focus on preventive healthcare to save future costs.

There are other benefits to preventive healthcare as well, including overall productivity growth, increased physical and mental wellness for employees, and a greater retention rate for your organisation. 

Read on to know why offering preventive healthcare is important and how it can help you save costs.

Preventive Healthcare for Employees Can Save Future Costs

Components of preventive healthcare

To ensure your employees are as productive as possible, you need to ensure they are physically and mentally fit. Hence, preventive wellness programs are divided into two sub-categories.

Disease management

Diseases and ailments can force your employees to stay away from work. Even when at work, they may not perform at their optimal levels. Hence, wellness checks related to disease management are essential. It is vital to nip a minor symptom in the bud and prevent it from transforming into a severe illness. For instance, you can offer comprehensive health check-ups, and assist with preventive vaccinations to facilitate disease management.

Lifestyle management

Stress, anxiety, and depression are significant contributors to poor mental health. An overly stressed employee may not perform to their full potential. As a responsible employer, you can play a crucial role in promoting employee wellbeing.

Among other benefits, offering better lifestyle management training to your workforce is an effective way to go about it. You can provide diet consultations, arrange counselling sessions, and organise fitness activities to help employees follow a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits of preventive healthcare for employees

Preventive healthcare benefits offered to employees can be among the best and most attractive aspects of any welfare plan. Here’s how preventive healthcare can help the employees.

Regular health assessment

An active preventive healthcare setup in your organisation can help employees, and their family members (if covered) get proper and timely assessments of their health conditions.

Prevention of ailments

Preventive healthcare can help prevent illnesses from arising in the first place. This factor is especially relevant for lifestyle disorders like diabetes. Preventive healthcare can help reduce the severity of such problems by cultivating healthier habits and facilitating early detection through regular check-ups. For instance, preventive health screening can reduce the risk of premature deaths from heart ailments by almost 80% and cancer by about 40%.2

Improved productivity

While improved productivity is a definite benefit for employers, it also helps employees in the long haul. They can improve their performance without putting in a disproportionately higher effort simply by being healthier. Better performance can translate into job satisfaction, motivation, and salary increment.

Benefits of preventive healthcare for employers

Employers stand to benefit in many ways when they offer preventive healthcare to their employees. Here are a few ways in which that can happen.

Lower absenteeism

A higher absenteeism rate can lead to a fall in the overall productivity of the organisation. On the contrary, fit and healthy employees seldom miss work. This brings in more profits for the organisation in the long run. As per a report by ASSOCHAM, for every rupee spent on activities focused on employee wellbeing, the employers receive INR 132.33 as savings with regard to the absenteeism cost.3 

Reduced presenteeism

Presenteeism is the practice of remaining physically present at work but performing unsatisfactorily due to poor health conditions. Employees with higher standards of health and wellness are likely to contribute more and reduce the negative effects of presenteeism.

Higher employee retention

The cost of acquiring a new employee is almost always more than retaining an existing employee. This is primarily because the recruitment and training processes demand a lot of time and money. Therefore, you want the talented employees to continue working with you for longer periods.

If your employees are happy with the advantage of receiving a preventive health care plan (along with other positive factors), they will stay in the company longer. This will likely, in turn, increase retention and contribute positively to your brand.4

High Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

EVP broadly refers to the benefits an organisation offers its employees in exchange for their services. These benefits are over and above the salary paid. A good set of EVPs leads to higher satisfaction amongst the workforce. Apart from increasing productivity, a good EVP also helps form pride, trust, and commitment among the employees.5  

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is an excellent example of an EVP with wellness as a strong pillar. PwC offers benefits like a Mentor Moms program, adoption assistance, and paid leaves for new parents.6

Increase in loyalty

A Gympass whitepaper states that inculcating a sense of wellbeing among employees can result in 31% higher productivity and 59% greater loyalty.7  

Employees who understand and value the EVP can become loyal members of your workforce. They will be productive and work wholeheartedly to take the organisation ahead. As an employer, you can also succeed in maintaining a happy team of employees.

Better goodwill

If you have a comprehensive insurance and wellbeing plan in place, you can build a reputation as a people-first organisation that takes holistic care of its employees. It can benefit your reputation and enhance goodwill. Better goodwill can attract talent to your organisation, bring in more stability, and help in employee retention.8  

Implementing preventive healthcare

To ensure the correct implementation of preventive healthcare, you need to take the following steps.

  1. Conduct a comprehensive industry analysis to understand prevalent current trends.

  2. Analyse your company's requirements and benchmark your company against industry standards.

  3. Involve your employees in the planning and development processes to minimise resistance.

  4. Find and evaluate insurers who can meet requirements, customise the plans according to your needs, offer flexible payment options and provide seamless insurance experience to your team.

  5. Once you finalise the insurance company and buy a suitable plan, develop a long-term relationship with the insurer for better premium rates and services.

Must-have preventive healthcare features

Your preventive healthcare plan must have the following features to ensure value for money.

Diet consultations

Faulty eating habits contribute towards ill-health. These habits can cause bodily harm and lead to lifestyle disorders, such as obesity. Help your employees establish good dietary routines by offering diet consultation services.

Incentivise fitness

Consider rewarding employees who do well on the fitness front. This can be achieved by measuring fitness activities such as the number of steps walked in a day/week and rewarding employees who achieve fitness goals over a period.

Doctor on call

People might shy away from visiting a doctor due to various reasons.9 However, if you have a doctor on call, employees can overcome their hesitation and seek timely professional advice.

Mental wellbeing

Mental health issues are on the rise nowadays, and your employees may face them from time to time.10 Offering access to a therapist who can offer counselling services to your employees can be beneficial. You can set up a virtual consultation with an on-call therapist for your employees. It can help them manage or overcome mental health issues.

Discounts on health check-ups

A comprehensive health check-up can cost a few thousands. Thus, offering discounts in such check-ups can help employees save money. Since this discount will make the check-up easy on their wallet, they might be motivated to do so instead of avoiding it due to the high cost. 

ACKO’s Group Medical Cover (ACKO Health) offers all the above-mentioned benefits to offer a blend of preventive healthcare benefits as well as comprehensive insurance coverage. Your team members can access all wellness benefits such as online doctor consultations, discounted pharmacy, health check-ups, fitness tracking, etc. via the app. 

Prioritise prevention

During the ongoing pandemic, problems such as isolation, stress, and deterioration of physical fitness have come at the forefront. Thus, the need for preventive healthcare has increased manifold. As an employer, it has become imperative to offer preventive healthcare benefits to your employees. And doing it the right way will help you save costs in the long run.

Disclaimer

This content piece is for informational purposes only. The content is sourced from data available in the public domain and based on popular industry opinion. No part of this content piece should be considered as legal advice. Please consult a professional before acting or refraining from acting based on the content.

Endnotes

1.  https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/feb/28/nearly-70-per-cent-expenditure-on-health-to-come-out-of-patients-pockets-finance-commission-report-2269862.html

2.  World Health Organisation, 2010. Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases 2010. World Health Organisation.

3.  https://www.assocham.org/newsdetail.php?id=6684

4.  Serxner S, Anderson DR, Gold D. Building program participation: strategies for recruitment and retention in worksite health promotion programs. Am J Heal Promot. 2004;18(4):1–5.

5.  Berry, L. L., Mirabito, A. M., & Baun, W. B. (2010). What’s the hard return on employee wellness programs. Harvard business review, 88(12), 104-112.

6.  https://harver.com/blog/employee-value-proposition-examples/

7.  https://hs.gympass.com/lp-maximizing-your-return-on-engagement

8.  https://employmenthero.com/blog/employee-value-proposition-evp/

9.  Taber, J. M., Leyva, B., & Persoskie, A. (2015). Why do people avoid medical care? A qualitative study using national data. Journal of general internal medicine, 30(3), 290–297. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-014-3089-1

10.  Srivastava K, Chatterjee K, Bhat PS. Mental health awareness: The Indian scenario. Ind Psychiatry J. 2016;25(2):131-134. doi:10.4103/ipj.ipj_45_17

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