The 20th anniversary of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare survey on health benefit plans has been released.
Just over half of plan members (53%) state their health benefit plan meets their needs extremely or very well, and another 39% say it does so somewhat well.
Highlights from the 2017 Survey
Impact of Wellness Programs
Plan members with access to workplace wellness programs are much more likely to give top marks to their benefit programs than those without for both the meeting of needs (63% versus 46%) and quality (57% versus 42%) of their benefit programs.
Traditional versus flex
Currently, 77% of employees report having traditional benefit plans, which define what is covered and the levels of coverage.
However, 54% of employees would prefer a flex plan, where employees can choose types and levels of coverage. Health spending accounts (HSAs), which provide employees with a certain amount of dollars every year to spend as they wish on allowable health-related items or services, are another way to bring some flexibility into benefit plans.
Employees with HSAs are more likely to agree that their plans meet their needs very or extremely well (60% versus 50% among those without HSAs); currently, 31% of employers offer health spending accounts, increasing to 47% among employers with 500 or more employees.
Underestimation of Chronic Disease
More than half of plan members (57%) report being diagnosed with at least one chronic disease or condition, consistent with results in 2015 and 2016.
This increases to 72% among employees aged 55 to 64. Plan sponsors, meanwhile, continue to significantly underestimate the presence of chronic conditions in their workforce, at just 32%, unchanged from last year.
More than a third (37%) of employees with chronic conditions take three or more medications on a regular basis and are therefore the most frequent users of drug benefits plan. A convincing 73% of them would be interested in coaching from a pharmacist to learn more about their medications and conditions, if this were covered by their benefit plan.
Impact on stress management
When we look at personal behaviours that are considered contributing factors for chronic disease, 22% of surveyed employees report that the workplace negatively impacts their ability to manage stress. This climbs to 44% among those who are dissatisfied with their current jobs. Some other behaviours negatively affected by the workplace include sleep health (16%) and eating healthier foods (9%).