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Employers Stay Loyal To Health Benefits


Employers Stay Loyal To Health Benefits

Employers are staying loyal to health insurance and benefits, despite the higher demands on them from KiwiSaver contributions and the provision of four weeks of annual leave.

Figures released by the Southern Cross Medical Care Society today show that 83% of its new members from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008 came from employer health insurance schemes.

Southern Cross added 9,818 new members in the 12 months to June 30, finishing the financial year with a total of 834,967.

Southern Cross also provided vaccination services to over 33,000 employees in the past 6 months.

“We have seen a 300% increase in employers offering wellness programmes (including vaccinations) to employees this year,” said Southern Cross Healthcare Group Chief Executive, Dr Ian McPherson.

“We know these progressive employers will be reaping the benefits now in winter months.

“Employers are continuing to see health insurance as an important part of total employee benefits. Despite employer contributions to KiwiSaver now being compulsory they are not tossing up between benefits and that’s a healthy sign.”

He said health insurance and related wellness programmes took care of employees today, where as KiwiSaver was about future security.

“Employers know there’s a payback from health insurance and related benefits. It gives people the flexibility to schedule treatment and there are proven benefits in terms of employee productivity, faster return to work after surgery and less stress in waiting for that treatment,” said Dr McPherson.
“Many smaller firms are more dependent on individual employees that their corporate counterparts and see health and wellness as a useful risk management tool.”

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