Not every wellness insurance package is created equal, and not every business is able to bolt on all the bells and whistles: it really comes down to knowing what your employees need.
To help you select what you should be putting in your wellness insurance package, we’ve laid out the top employee benefits that businesses commonly invest in—and whether or not you should follow suit.
The most common protection for any wellness program is medical insurance—no question.
Medical insurance gets people back on their feet (and back into the workplace) faster. That means less downtime for your employees, greater productivity and, of course, a powerful reason for your workforce to be loyal. For your employees, it gives them peace of mind—if they get sick, they have access to the healthcare they need to get better. It bolsters your overall wellness program as well, enabling people to get the care they need, when they need it, rather than suffering unnecessarily and potentially having to stop working altogether because of otherwise treatable issues.
“The wait for a publicly-funded surgery has risen from 80 days in 2013, to 304 days in 2016.”
It's also worth noting that public hospital waiting lists are unbearably long and are only likely to increase. The wait for a publicly-funded surgery has risen from 80 days in 2013, to 304 days in 2016. The stress this can put on an employee is immense—medical insurance can help alleviate this and get them back to full health quicker.
Income Protection Insurance
Another popular benefit to consider is income protection. Where medical insurance helps people with their physical needs, income protection gives your employees the ability to stop worrying about where their next paycheck would come from if they were suddenly unable to work for an extended period of time. It’s related back to the mental health portion of your wellness program as well—when people know their income is guaranteed, their stress levels drop significantly.
Income protection gives your employees the ability to stop worrying about where their next paycheck would come from.
It is also peace of mind for employers knowing that they’ve met their moral obligations as an employer as well as not having to worry about how long you pay staff for if a worst case scenario happens.
There are several tools that can be employed to manage the cost of income protection for employers. From eligibility periods before an employee qualifies to have income protection, to stand down periods (time off work before a claim is activated), to the duration of time that a claim will be paid—this varies from 2 years, 5 years, or right through to retirement.
As an employer, if you choose a shorter term claim period, your employee still has the option to ‘top up’ their cover at their expense to cover them right through to retirement.
Trauma, permanent disability and life insurance
If you want to have a robust insurance package, trauma, permanent disability and life insurance are a great addition to have. While medical and income insurance have obvious, strong impacts on the wellness of your workforce (particularly medical), trauma, total and permanent disability and life insurance offer great benefits to employees, especially if the worst were to occur.
It’s almost guaranteed that your competition will have [medical and income insurance] in place—but they may not have income protection, trauma, disability or life insurance.
These policies provide peace of mind, in that they pay out in case of serious injury or illness or death, but if you are working on a tight budget, medical and income protection are great base layers for your employees' wellness insurance package.
However, you must note how useful these additions are to attraction and retention. Because medical insurance policies are considered ”baseline”, it’s almost guaranteed that your competition will have them in place—but they may not have income protection, trauma, disability or life insurance. If you want to create a point of difference for your wellness program and your company, there is your opportunity.
We suggest Medical and income protection insurance should be at the top of your list, followed by trauma, disability and life. As always, aim for fewer-but-robust policies rather than numerous-but-substandard!
For more information, download the free guide below!