Redefining Employee Benefits to Prioritise Health And Employees Well-being

In the Indian context, where healthcare costs have seen a steady rise, the significance of robust employee healthcare benefits becomes even more pronounced.


In one of Hyderabad’s bustling offices, an HR manager finds themselves in a quandary. For weeks, they've been diligently searching for the perfect candidate to fill a crucial role within the company. The resumes are impressive, the interviews promising, but there's a persistent obstacle standing in the way – the absence of adequate employee benefits.

The HR manager has discovered first-hand how the lack of comprehensive benefits can hinder their efforts to secure the ideal candidate. The realisation dawns that in the contemporary job market, potential employees are not just seeking a paycheck and a job title. Rather, they are placing increasing importance on the full spectrum of employee benefits, with the lack of healthcare benefits emerging as a dealbreaker.

In the past few years, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, companies big and small have realised that they must step up and go beyond the basics for their team’s well-being.

What's truly commendable is that many companies are extending their benefits beyond just free meals and flexible leave policies. Employers have begun to grasp the financial impact that unexpected health emergencies can have. This realisation has led organisations to prioritise health insurance as a key benefit among others. It reflects a positive shift in the understanding of the broader needs and well-being of employees beyond the traditional perks.  

Why healthcare must take precedence

In the Indian context, where healthcare costs have seen a steady rise, the significance of robust employee healthcare benefits becomes even more pronounced. Recent data indicates that medical expenses in India have surged, with a notable increase in hospitalisation and treatment costs. Shockingly, India bears witness to the highest medical inflation in Asia, standing at a staggering 14%.  

Against this backdrop, a comprehensive healthcare plan not only alleviates the financial burden on employees but also reinforces a sense of security and well-being. 

Furthermore, a healthy workforce is a productive workforce. By prioritising healthcare benefits, companies not only demonstrate a genuine commitment to their employees' welfare but also strategically invest in the long-term sustainability of their human capital. 

As the scales tip in favour of workplaces that prioritise holistic well-being, healthcare emerges as key, ensuring that employees not only thrive in their professional capacities but also lead fulfilling, healthy lives.

It’s time to go beyond insurance 

While offering health insurance benefits is a good start, what today's workforce truly requires is a more comprehensive healthcare plan that extends its coverage beyond hospital stays. A good employee healthcare plan should encompass the costs of routine doctor consultations, promote fitness initiatives and preventive care, offer support for mental well-being, and more. By broadening the scope of healthcare benefits, employers not only address the immediate concerns but also proactively contribute to the overall health and wellness of their workforce. 

The evolving expectations of the workforce emphasise the need for a more holistic approach that combines insurance coverage with relevant wellness perks. It's not just about addressing health issues reactively; it's about fostering a proactive culture of well-being.

To truly enhance the value of healthcare benefits, companies should consider dedicating a few hours every month towards building good practices around health and well-being. This could involve organising wellness workshops, fitness classes, or mental health seminars. By incorporating such initiatives into the workplace, employers not only demonstrate a commitment to the physical and mental health of their employees but also foster a positive and supportive work environment.

New-age insurtechs understand the insurance and wellness needs of today’s employees and offer plans and solutions that are tailored to meet their evolving healthcare needs. Unlike conventional approaches, our solutions go beyond the traditional boundaries of insurance, recognising the importance of holistic well-being. 

Healthcare benefits must be independent of company size

Healthcare benefits should not be contingent on the size of the company. With the emergence of new-age insurtechs providing monthly healthcare subscriptions, businesses no longer need to allocate a substantial lump sum towards employee healthcare. 

The good news is even small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are now recognising the significance of healthcare benefits and their positive influence on employee attraction, productivity, and retention.  This, in turn, is helping them scale up in a way that is sustainable and efficient. 

In fact, a recent report by BCG underscores a subtle yet transformative revolution unfolding in healthcare financing. Projections suggest that by 2030, insurance coverage in India is poised to surge from the current 37% to an impressive 69%. Businesses are set to emerge as pivotal actors in extending this web of financial security, contributing significantly to the expansion of healthcare coverage across the nation.

As workplaces evolve, prioritising the health and well-being of employees has become not only a strategic necessity but also a testament to an organisation's commitment to fostering a positive and supportive work environment. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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