Prevention is the key to sustainable employee healthcare and reducing the associated long term costs and absence levels, according to Jelf Employee Benefits.
In its white paper, A strategy for sustainability, Jelf explained that with medical inflation outstripping general inflation, the cost of providing employees with private medical insurance (PMI) benefits could rise significantly.
According to figures from Laing and Buisson, the cost of PMI was currently double the rate of inflation - a trend that looks set to continue.
Jelf warned that while many employers looked to increase the excess payable and pass those costs onto the employee, this was a short-term approach and did not address the underlying cause of the problem.
One of the most important aspects was to look at the specific needs of the company, it said, be it long-term absence, short-term absence or lack of engagement.
The white paper includes information for employers on preventative healthcare and wellbeing, employee engagement, return on investment and a number of case study examples.
Jelf Employee Benefits UK Healthcare director Iain Laws said: "With the ever-increasing cost of health and protection benefits, a sustainable employee wellbeing solution should be on every employer's shopping list for the new year. There are many benefits to investing in employee health and wellbeing, and as a preventative measure, it can deliver significant returns to an organisation."
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