12% rank health cash plans as their most valued benefit

Just over one in 10 (12%) respondents rank health cash plans as their most valued employee benefit, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

Its 2017 Willis Towers Watson employee benefits and wellbeing index, which surveyed 1,123 UK full and part-time employees aged between 18 and 64 years old, also found that 11% rank health insurance as their top benefit.

The research also found:

  • 11% of respondents cite life insurance as their most valued benefit, 6% rank income protection as their top benefit, and 5% view critical illness cover as their top benefit.
  • 9% of respondents value health screenings the most, and 3% of respondents rank a counselling service or an employee assistance programme (EAP) as their most valued benefit.
  • 6% of respondents rank company car schemes as their top benefit, and 5% cite childcare vouchers as their most valued benefit.
  • Almost a third (32%) of respondents rank a workplace pension scheme as their most valued employee benefit.

Mike Blake (pictured), director at Willis Towers Watson Health and Benefits, said: “The great value of cash plans, unlike most other insurance products, is that they’re designed to be used regularly to recover essential, everyday, healthcare expenses such as optical costs or dental treatment. As a consequence, they can prove to be of particular value to lower wage earners and the newly-defined just about managing [JAM] population.

“Health screenings, which can be treated as a non-taxable benefit, offer employees an opportunity to address health issues before they become an issue, as well as suggesting ways to prevent health issues in the future.

“Furthermore, they can help [organisations] develop a better understanding of the risk factors affecting staff, enabling early intervention to reduce insurance claims and incidents of sickness absence.”