Changing demographics in the workplace, the trend towards proactive healthcare solutions, and growing technological advances are factors that have employers examining what the future holds for benefit plans. Great-West Life’s research has found that a one-size-fits-all plan design no longer works when it comes to supporting employee health and wellness.

According to the Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey 2014, 75% of Generation Y plan members want more flexibility in their benefit plans. What’s more, consumer trends show a growing need for plans to include a focus on wellness and prevention, creating demand for proactive healthcare solutions.

Plan members also expect employers to be partners in health. In the Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey 2013, 69% of plan members agreed that employers should do more to help prevent disease, illness and injury among employees, rather than just pay for treatment. 

Greater efficiency via technology

Technology is also changing the way that Great-West Life does business. The company has introduced several new tools to increase efficiency and enhance plan member convenience and satisfaction. Online health claim submissions have been a convenient way of helping both plan members and the insurer to process claims faster and easier. In 2014, 87% of health and dental claims were received electronically via prescription drug card transactions, provider and member online submissions, or mobile devices.

Another way Great-West Life has used technology to make life easier for plan sponsors and plan members is through Health SolutionsPlus, a Visa® payment card that can be used at the point of purchase to pay for eligible healthcare products and services. Great-West Life worked with Evolution1 to implement this electronic payment option for healthcare spending accounts – a first in Canada.

Constantly evolving trends and needs in the healthcare landscape mean that providing flexible benefit plan options that focus on overall health and wellness is beneficial for both employers and plan members. Plan members are encouraged to become active participants in their healthcare and make responsible choices, while employers are helped to maintain affordable and sustainable plans.