Several companies, especially startups and IT companies, are now offering higher sum insured and have started covering parents of employees in their group health insurance policies, as a strategy to attract and retain good talent.
Experts say the new trend has been driven by a shift in employee behaviour wherein they seek a comprehensive health benefit plan for the entire family. Another key reason was that employees moving from larger MNCs to startups also looked out for similar health protection that they had in large corporates.
“Around March 2020 sentiments were very negative and so companies were focussed on cost-cutting. Now when the talent hunt is at an all-time high, companies are going looking at ways to attract and retain talent. That is why a lot of companies are increasing sum insured and adding parents of their employees for the first time. On average premium per employee has increased by 15 per cent over the last year due to a combination of several factors such as increased sum insured, inclusion of more dependents and higher medical inflation,” said Saransh Garg, co-founder and CEO of Nova Benefits, an employee wellness platform focussed on corporate health insurance.
Abhishek Poddar, co-founder and CEO of the employee health insurance platform Plum said that “prior to Covid, we saw less than 40 per cent companies offering insurance plans covering the parents of the employees. But this has changed significantly in the last one year, with 65 per cent of the companies now opting for covers which include parents. In the past two years, we have also seen a growth in sum insured with more companies now opting for Rs 5 lakh per family plans instead of the most common Rs 3 lakh earlier. During renewals also, many of Plum’s customers switched to parental plans from their non-parental ones earlier.”
Garg added: “In the interview, candidates have started asking if their parents will be covered, what the sum assured is, if there is personal and term life policies, etc. That is why reversal is happening and companies are increasing sum insured and covering parents. Companies are going extra mile for offering health benefits as it also helps them to retain employees.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic, awareness has grown for employee wellness programs. Companies have now started focusing on wellness programs compared to the pre-Covid era.
Poddar said that “there has been a recognizable increase in awareness and demand for employee wellness programs by companies compared to pre-Covid times. Plum has seen a surge in its teleconsultation services for both general healthcare and mental wellbeing. We are seeing a rise in demand wherein almost all of our 1000+ customers are looking for a health benefits program post-Covid.”
Garg agrees, “Employees are looking at the overall benefits of the employees. They are looking at doctor consultation, health check-ups, creating fitness challenges, health risk assessment, etc. So, companies are going deeper into how they can improve the health and wellness of their employees.
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