With Covid-19 being the propeller in insurance adoption, along with ease of use and affordability, a growing number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are now focusing on stronger employee welfare benefits.
According to employee benefits-focused company Onsurity, nearly two in three Indian start-ups and MSMEs opted for extensive wellness features for their employees in their corporate healthcare subscription plans in FY22. These include a focus on mental well-being, complete annual health checkups for employees and their family members, and access to healthcare membership for employees' elderly family members.
The findings revealed that SMEs with an employee base of less than 10 have in the past struggled to retain working women, because of their inability to provide holistic health and wellness benefits, built especially for them. Onsurity has also witnessed an increased demand for wellness benefits for working women especially maternity and IVF Treatment focused plans. Maternity care, as an add-on benefit, has been in popular demand, especially for SMEs with an employee base of less than 10.
Moreover, teleconsultation services have reported a sharp rise of 61 per cent post-Covid-19. Medical professionals and patients also prefer teleconsultations rather than physical visits.
Abhishek Poddar, co-founder and CEO, Plum agrees. He says, “We have noticed that MSMEs prefer using services like Telehealth, as it makes doctor availability simple. They also prefer plans that are discounted (which we have through our partners, Razorpay Rize and Visa). The fact that their families are covered too comes as a relief and the policy itself can be accessed without any waiting periods. Products for them have to be simple, affordable and accessible and that is what increases adoption.”
Poddar adds, “MSMEs have earlier lacked access to affordable healthcare products, especially insurance. They hire 460 million people, most of whom depend on their employer for healthcare and emergency expenses. For context, India has the maximum out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure among G20 countries, which pushes nearly 60 million people into poverty every year (National Health Authority, 2020).”
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