2014 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey: Strategic Health Benefit Plans Needed

The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey has proven to be an invaluable tool for health benefit administrators making decisions about the kind of health coverage their plans will provide.

Since 1998, the healthcare survey has monitored the pulse of Canadians with employer-sponsored health benefit plans.  Over the years, the survey has looked at the issues of workplace stress and the growing need for homecare services and disease prevention.  One finding that continues to gain traction is that plan members are increasingly receptive to their workplace doing more to support personal health.  In the 2014 survey, results showed strong employee support for health risk screenings to determine personal risk levels for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and mental health.

When it comes to plan sponsors, one of the key findings of the 2014 survey was a consistent lack of information and an ongoing search for fresh approaches from benefit providers.  One of the challenges is moving past the typical conversations around cost containment—if your primary focus is always on cost management, than health management will inevitably suffer.  Those who view health plans as an investment, rather than a cost, will benefit from reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and an engaged workforce that helps drive organizational success.

In addition to these important findings, the 2014 edition of the Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey speaks to the importance of integrating health and wellness into your business strategy.  While this approach can be a challenge for employers coping with change at all levels, it makes sense not only from an employee engagement perspective, but also as a competitive advantage. With the latest data showing that the total drug costs in private plans are expected to remain predictable, affordable and sustainable in the near future, now is the time to address the reality of our aging workforce.  The private sector needs to partner to find sustainable solutions to unmanaged chronic disease—the biggest cost driver for plan sponsors.

While plan sponsors play a key role in this search, the 2014 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey speaks to their growing realization that they cannot do it alone.  Stay tuned for the December edition of Spotlight on Benefits, which will focus on the Role of Providers: what’s missing?