Only 36% of health benefit plan sponsors regularly receive an analysis
of claims data
79% of health benefit plan sponsors look to benefit plan providers for
guidance in developing plans
MONTREAL, June 3, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Compelling new data in the 2014
edition of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey indicates that workplace health benefit plan sponsors (employers) are
ill-equipped to develop strategic health benefit plans to respond to
the future needs of employees. One out of two employees (53% of survey
respondents) reports having at least one chronic disease as Baby
Boomers remain the largest age group in the workforce. These needs are
vastly different from younger Gen Y employees entering the workforce
and looking for different, more flexible plans.
Health benefit plans are important to employees
While health benefits are important to all generations of plan members,
with four in five (78%) reporting that the health benefit plan is an
important factor when choosing a job (76% among Gen X and Gen Y, 80%
among Boomers), only half (52%) of plan sponsors indicate that keeping
employees healthy and productive is a main purpose of offering their
health benefit plan.
"It is important that healthcare plan sponsors and plan providers*
design healthcare benefit plans that respond to the needs of their
employee populations," says David Willows, VP, Strategic Market
Solutions at Greenshields Canada. "The goal of the plan should be to
keep employees well, so that those involved (sponsor, provider and
employee) do not find themselves with greater health costs and lost
Health benefit plan sponsors not tracking data
Survey data reveals that there appears to be a few problems in the
communications between health benefit plan sponsors and providers. The
first issue is that only one-third (36%) report regularly receiving an
analysis of claims data from their plan providers (insurance company or
advisor) to better understand the use of their plan. A further 20%
report receiving this type of information occasionally. The second
issue is that, of those who do receive this type of data, just half
(49%) use it to develop targeted improvements to their plans.
"We believe the healthcare of Canadians in general would benefit from
further partnership, information sharing and data analysis," says Jon
Fairest, president and CEO of Sanofi Canada. "The same applies to
employers and healthcare benefit providers. By regrouping and setting
goals to optimize health and productivity, plan sponsors will reap the
returns of reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and an engaged
workforce that helps drive organizational success."
Absenteeism is an important issue
Data from The Conference Board of Canada indicates absenteeism cost
Canadian organizations $16.6 million in 2012. Despite this importance,
just four in 10 (40%) plan sponsors report formally tracking the
absenteeism rate in their workplace, and only 17% work formally with
their insurance company or benefits advisor to analyze absenteeism or
disability claims. Indeed, 70% indicate they don't know what their
absenteeism rate was for last year.
While employers express a desire to have plans that keep employees well,
The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey data indicates that there needs to be a robust dialogue around the
data. In fact, 79% of plan sponsors feel their plan carrier and/or
benefits advisor should be playing a larger role in helping with their
organization's wellness initiatives. When surveyed employers were asked
who should be helping with overall health, wellness and prevention of
disease programs for the workplace, 74% said insurers/plan providers,
64% looked to healthcare professionals and 52% to government.
"For employers, it's difficult to move past the typical initial
conversations around health benefit plan cost containment," says
Fairest, "but unfortunately those objectives do not address employee
wellness needs. A strategic approach that integrates health and
wellness programs into business strategies, and one that is guided by
employee data and needs, makes sense not only from an employee
engagement point of view, but also as a competitive advantage."
*Health benefit plan providers = are carriers (insurers), benefit
The 2014 edition of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey was initiated by Rogers Connect Market Research group on behalf of
Sanofi Canada. The survey was conducted online between January 6 and
January 13, 2014. In total, a national sample of 1,502 primary holders
of group health benefit plans completed the study. The data has been
statistically weighted to ensure the age, gender and regional
composition of the sample reflect those of the adult population
according to 2006 Canadian census data. This survey was coupled with
another online survey of 500 health benefit plan sponsors from across
the country to bring employers' perspective on the issues at hand.
About The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey
The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey is Canada's premier survey of health benefit plans. It has a long
history of capturing the opinions, concerns and behaviours of employees
with health benefit plans. Now in its 17th year, the landmark survey
continues to give voice to more than 1,500 plan members, and this year
the survey of plan sponsors yielded the most responses ever at 500.
The study is not possible without the sponsorship of Sanofi Canada, and
additional support from Desjardins Insurance, Manulife Financial,
Medavie Blue Cross, Great-West Life Assurance, Green Shield Canada and
Sun Life Financial.
Note to the editor: The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey is available for download at www.sanofi.ca.
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes
therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core
strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms:
diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer
healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi
is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Sanofi entities in Canada include Sanofi Canada (pharmaceuticals),
Sanofi Pasteur (vaccines), Sanofi Consumer Health (cosmeceuticals,
over-the-counter products and specialty care), Genzyme (rare diseases)
and Merial (animal health). Together they employ close to 1,700 people
across the country. In 2013 Sanofi companies invested $125.1 million in
R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the
Follow Sanofi Canada on Twitter @SanofiCanada.
SOURCE: Sanofi Canada
For further information:
NATIONAL Public Relations
Tel. : 514-843-2378