The Results Are In – The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey and the results are bringing to light the importance of personalization, flexibility, health and wellness, and chronic disease awareness, when it comes to overall plan satisfaction.
Personalization – In regards to personalization, a decisive majority (70%) – which is up from 58% just a year ago – would allow their benefits carrier to access their personal claims data (for example, the drugs they are taking) in order to receive customized information catering to their specific health issues. A move which suggests that people are willing to share more personal data, if it can help them better manage their health.
Flexibility – Currently, 77% of employees report that they have traditional benefit plans with a locked-in definition of what is covered and the levels of that coverage. With that said, 54% of employees would prefer to have more flexibility built into their plan design. Health Spending Accounts (HSAs), which provide employees with a defined amount of dollars to spend on a number of health-related items or services, are a great way to enhance flexibility and boost overall plan satisfaction. As per the survey results, 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 all employers offer Health Spending Accounts, increasing to 47% for employers with over 500 employees.
Health & Wellness – 86% of employees who say that their workplace encourages health and wellness, are satisfied with their jobs, verses 62% among employees who said that their workplace does not. While this statistic demonstrates the importance of health and wellness, only 31% of employers said that they plan on investing in wellness over the next year, down from 68% in 2011. With more employees reporting increased stress or anxiety in the workplace than ever, wellness should not be overlooked. One of the main reasons for the drop off in employer support is due to a lack of ability to target the individuals who need these plans the most. While this is always a concern, recent trends in wellness are moving towards a more personalized delivery of wellness programs, with customizable incentives and workspaces which support well behavior, to encourage all employees to live a healthier lifestyle.
Chronic Disease Awareness – Every year employers severely underestimate the presence, and subsequent impact, of chronic disease in the workplace. Over half of employees surveyed (57%) report having at least one chronic disease or condition (such as high blood pressure or depression), with this number rising to 72% among those aged 55 to 64. Still, plan sponsors estimate that a mere 32% of their employees have a chronic condition. The survey also revealed that more than a third (37%) of employees with chronic conditions take three or more medications on a regular basis and are therefore frequent users of drug benefit plans. 73% of these individuals would be interested in receiving coaching from a pharmacist to learn more about their medications and conditions, if this were covered by their benefit plan. This coaching would allow these patients to work with a pharmacist to develop a drug treatment plan, ensuring that they are taking the right drugs at the correct dosages, ultimately leading to a more productive and healthy workforce.