Healthcare features heavily among benefits provided by employers, a survey of 327 organisations’ packages conducted by XpertHR has found.
Among the benefits provided by respondent organisations, the most popular include:
- life assurance – available to employees in 82% of organisations;
- an employee assistance programme – 71.3%;
- private medical insurance – 66.4%; and
- permanent health insurance – 39.8%.
But behind the scenes the survey reveals that these benefits are not always available to all employees at the organisation. Private medical insurance, for example, is available in 66.4% of organisations, but two-thirds of these companies limit the benefit to certain groups only – typically higher-grade employees.
In addition, directors were found to be much more likely than staff groups to have the benefit extended to other family members; staff groups tended to have the benefit limited to single cover only.
Permanent health insurance is offered by 39.8% of survey respondents, but while almost all of these include directors, only one-fifth extend the provision to all staff groups. The health-related benefits most likely to be made available to all employees are life assurance and employee assistance programmes.
When asked what changes they are planning to make to benefits packages over the coming year, several respondents cited the reduction or removal of the private medical insurance benefit, while a number hope to introduce a healthcare cash plan.