Increase in companies offering employee-paid health benefits

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There has been an increase in the number of companies offering health benefits on an employee-paid basis with cost being a key consideration.

Cost was either an important or very important consideration for 97% of employers.

Almost half (49%) feel under pressure to make short-term cost savings and 98% agreed premium sustainability and stability were very important or important.

Of employers surveyed 54% were against Offering employees less flexibility or choice to ensure sustainable premiums.

Some 70% would not be prepared to reduce benefits to maintain and reduce premium costs.

The Aon annual Benefits and Trends Survey also found UK employers are not managing employee health risks with 75% of businesses not identifying and managing known health risks.

Of those businesses not identifying and managing health risks 50% want to get to grips with the impact of them on staff.

A five-year budget projection for healthcare spending would be of value to 64% of employers, those surveyed thought.

Stephen Hackett, head of health and risk at Aon Employee Benefits, said: "Serious illness can hit an employer hard, potentially impacting recruitment, retention, productivity, motivation, health programmes and, of course, rising insurance costs.

"Yet HR has access to powerful data that can help employees and employers. This helps identify and manage risks so effective strategies can be put in place. Combining knowledge across healthcare and risk also enables businesses to control costs and ensure value added benefits are not duplicated, something we see happening time and time again. Healthcare and risk insurances, as well as health management services such as occupational health, help employees and employers to manage health risks as efficiently as possible."

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