Indian firms using health cover as hiring, retaining tool
"Rising premium costs have not reduced the importance of health care cover as an employment value differentiator and that Indian companies continue to use it as a part of their hiring and retention strategy," Watson Wyatt, a global consultancy firm said in its Health Care Benefits survey. Also, the survey found that 74 percent of the companies are stressing on employee education around health care. The survey covered 125 of India's largest employers and from across industries, mainly from the private sector, reporting an average revenue of more than 400 crore.
According to the survey, most of Indian companies providing health care cover to their employees are grappling with an average 10 percent rise in premiums over the last three years. "Rising health care costs are making corporates strive to strike the balance between increasing premium costs and their talent management strategies," said Watson Wyatt India Head of Benefits Practice, Kulin Patel. The corporates are constantly devising different strategies to control health care costs, the survey said.
Despite rising premium costs, economic turbulence and the difficulty in maintaining an affordable health care cover, 58 percent of the companies surveyed did not deduct any premium costs out of employee salaries, it said.
"Importantly, over 46 percent of those surveyed did not plan to share the costs with the employees even in the coming year," the survey said. It revealed that only 17 percent of the companies cover post retirement medical expenditure. Post retirement medical benefit is mainly provided by companies in the public sector, while a very small proportion of private sector companies provide such long term benefits.
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