Survey of corporate healthcare provision
A survey by Towers Perrin has found that more than nine in ten UK employers provide cover for private medical insurance to some or all of their employees.
As many as 53% of survey respondents provide medical insurance to all employees rather than just top executives, compared to 44% in 2002 and just 10% in 2000.
Private medical costs
But Towers Perrin found that the cost of private health cover is on an "upward trend". In 2004, the average cost per employee was £427. Towers Perrin reckons that the annual increase in the cost over the last five years was 5.4% per annum.
Reasons for providing private medical benefit
Companies are providing healthcare to improve the attractiveness of employees' total reward packages, finds Towers Perrin. By improving the corporate benefits package, companies are aiming to improve employee recruitment, retention and engagement. As many as 81% of respondents cite "keeping the benefit package competitive" as a reason for providing employees with private medical insurance.
Besides the desire to keep their benefits competitive, the other principal reasons cited by respondents were to "ensure staff return to work quickly" and "reduce the cost of sickness absence".
The growth of flexible benefits is paving the way for the expansion of corporate healthcare in the UK. "Flexible benefits allow companies to more easily share the cost of healthcare provision with employees than has traditionally been the case." But Towers Perrin found that employees still did not make any contribution to the cost of cover in 76% of companies in the survey.
Want to know more?
Title: UK Corporate Healthcare Survey 2005, Towers Perrin.
Survey sample: The third biennial corporate healthcare survey by Towers Perrin draws on information received from 120 UK employers, representing a wide range of sectors and business size. The survey was carried out in winter 2004.
Availability: Contact Rob Dwyer at Towers Perrin in London, tel: 020 7170 3569 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Towers Perrin is a global professional services firm that "helps organisations around the world optimise performance through effective people, risk and financial management". The firm specialises in the areas of human resource strategy, design and management actuarial and management consulting to the financial services industry and reinsurance intermediary services. Towers Perrin has offices in 24 countries. To find out more visit www.towersperrin.com
Posted 9 June 2005