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Two-thirds (65 per cent) of plans sponsors said they have a specific objective for their health benefits plan for the upcoming year, compared to 56 per cent that said the same in 2018, according to the 2020 Sanofi Canada health-care survey.

Overall, 21 per cent said they strongly agree they have a specific objective, increasing to 32 per cent among larger employers with 500 or more employees.

Just under a quarter (22 per cent) of plan sponsors said they regularly receive claims analyses that help identify the main disease states in their workforce, while 23 per cent said they get that information occasionally, 20 per cent do so when requested and another five per cent said they pull the data themselves from their insurers’ systems. Among the 31 per cent that said they don’t get this data at all, 58 per cent said they’d like to.

Read: Next steps for data analytics in disability and benefits plans

“Analysis should include a critical evaluation of what’s in health benefits plans today,” said Sarah Murphy, director of brand experience for Green Shield Canada and a member of the Sanofi Canada advisory board. “A key touchpoint is medical evidence: what does the research say about health outcomes? If benefits plan dollars are limited, should we continue to pay when there is not enough evidence? Strategies include making some benefits optional, moving them to spending accounts or discontinuing the benefit. This process makes space for new offerings with proven health outcomes.”

The survey also noted plan sponsors’ lack of time can be a serious hurdle to sharing data, much less setting specific strategic objectives. It emphasized that the most successful benefits providers identify and concentrate communications on a small number of top opportunities.

Read: Should plan sponsors shift their benefits plan spend during coronavirus?

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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