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88% of corporate India struggling due to escalating hospital bills

The Annual Health and Benefits Survey 2023 conducted by Global Insurance Brokers (GLOBAL) presents interesting insights into the impact of surging healthcare expenses on Corporate India in the post-Covid-19 landscape. This comprehensive survey in 2023 reveals that an overwhelming 88% of Corporate India is struggling primarily due to the escalating hospital bills.

Key findings underscore a stark reality – healthcare expenditures have surpassed revenue growth, economic inflation, and wage increases, intensifying financial challenges for organisations. The upswing in hospital bills and related expenses has played a significant role in driving up healthcare costs. Additionally, the increasing expenses associated with treating lifestyle diseases have further compounded the financial burden of medical spending.

Beyond financial concerns, the survey spotlights growing apprehension about employee mental health, with 46% of respondents emphasising the pressing need for better mental health support in the workplace.

Prabodh Thakker, Chairman of Global Insurance Brokers, expressed his perspective on these findings “Covid-19 has led to significant changes in workforce engagement worldwide. The customary work approaches have evolved into hybrid and remote arrangements, propelling modifications in business frameworks, and reforming the dynamics of employer-employee interactions.”

Companies now have access to a diverse range of health and wellness programs to address various facets of promoting and maintaining health. Importantly, today’s employers possess a holistic understanding of well-being, encompassing physical, mental, social, and financial dimensions. However, Puja Parekh, President of Global Insurance Brokers, believes, “Wellness must be tackled strategically and integrated into the overall organisational purpose framework. An open and dynamic workplace character can boost teamwork and mutual trust, leading to lower stress levels and improved mental health conditions, helping organisations reap meaningful business rewards”.

Naveen Kumar Midha, Executive Director of Global Insurance Brokers, highlighted, “Amidst tripled economic inflation, organisations face a critical challenge: balancing finances while retaining talent. The aftermath of Covid-19 has left uninsured employees financially vulnerable, amplifying the needs of health and benefits decisions. To nurture a diverse workforce and adapt to their evolving needs, the corporate benefits policies must focus on well-being and competitiveness, keeping a tight control on the budgetary constraints.”

He added, “Post-pandemic approach of corporate India has taken a human-centric approach, as claims efficiency, service quality, surging healthcare expenses, and mental well-being impact takes precedence.”

Other key findings of the survey:

  • 32% of Indian employers claim relative immunity to the pandemic, while 47% express significant concern about claims settlement
  • 43% are apprehensive about servicing levels provided by insurance companies and third-party administrators
  • An exclusive reliance on insurance negotiations as a cost-containment strategy is seen as potentially more expensive
  • 58% of employers expect the Medical claims ratio to decrease in 2023
  • 78% find Indian insurers performance as satisfactory
  • 85% expect insurance brokers to streamline claims settlement issues
  • 70% of employers value insurance intermediation services, while 8% express dissatisfaction
  • A top TPA’s (Third-Party Administrator) performance was lauded,, with 90% for claims settlement efficiency and 86% for cashless procedure efficiency

GLOBAL’s comprehensive survey included decision-makers from diverse industries and company sizes. The overwhelming response highlights the critical importance of addressing evolving employee expectations and reviewing benefit programs to ensure effective employee engagement and sustainable positioning.

The report calls for the implementation of smart cost-management strategies and innovative infrastructure to address the rising healthcare costs effectively. It also underscores the need for insurers, brokers, and third-party administrators to adapt to the evolving employee benefits landscape. CXOToday

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