EXCLUSIVE: Nearly two-thirds (63%) of employer respondents plan to put a greater focus on communicating their healthcare benefits in the coming 12 months, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield.
The Employee Benefits/Health Shield Healthcare research 2017, which surveyed 121 employer respondents in July 2017, also found that just under half (47%) of respondents have placed a greater focus on communicating health benefits in the past year.
Given the cost involved in providing healthcare benefits to staff, ensuring they are aware of, and engage with, what is on offer is key to achieving an optimum return on investment.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, increasing their focus on mental and financial wellbeing support are among the most popular actions that respondents have both taken and plan to take. These issues have both risen sharply up employers’ agendas in recent years as many have recognised the advantages of a holistic wellbeing strategy and the irrefutable links between each strand.
The growing prominence of employee health and wellbeing for employers can also be seen in the proportion planning to increase the number of benefits they offer. More than two-fifths (44%) say they plan to do so in the coming year, while just over a quarter (27%) did so in the previous 12 months.
A further 22% say they plan to increase the number of employees covered by health benefits in the coming 12 months, which represents a significant rise on the 9% and 14% that planned to do so in 2009 and 2013, respectively.