© Copyright 2006 Rogers Publishing Ltd. The following article first appeared in the June 2005 edition of BENEFITS CANADA magazine.
Excessive executive compensation when a pension fund is underfunded can be a recipe for legal disaster. Fiduciary duties should not be forgotten.

The 2005 annual sanofi-avenis Healthcare Survey, the eighth in a series, has revealed a new-found sense of accountability among benefits plan members. According to the responses of 1,500 employee health benefit holders across Canada—who were polled by Ipsos Reid in January 2005—those who make healthy choices should be rewarded and those that don’t should be penalized financially.

Some findings:

Percentage of respondents who believe that employees who do not smoke should pay less for employee health benefits coverage: 70%

Percentage of respondents who agree the cost of employee health benefits plans should be higher for those who smoke, don’t exercise or are seriously overweight: 54%

Percentage of employees who feel employers should pay for cholesterol-lowering drugs: 91%

Number of respondents willing to pay a small fee ($5) for a visit to an emergency room, the doctor’s office or a day in the hospital, if that meant money was to be invested in home care, community care etc.: seven in 10

Percentage of employees who say they feel obligated to help their employer pay for health benefits plans: 73%

Percentage willing to pay higher premiums to maintain their benefits coverage: 45%

The top three components of benefits plans respondents would be least willing to part with: short-term disability (3%), long-term disability (3%) and their drug plan (2%).

Percentage of respondents willing to part with physiotherapists, chiropractors, private nurses and massage therapists: 27%

Percentage that believe that higher-cost medications should be covered by their employer: 95%

Source: The 2005 sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey

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