2015 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey : employers underestimate how much of their workforce suffers from chronic health conditions

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Every year for the past 18 years, Sanofi Canada has conducted a major survey to find out how satisfied Canadians are with their employer-sponsored health benefit plans and to hear from employers who offer these types of plans. Insurers, benefits advisors and plan administrators eagerly anticipate the survey results, which provide valuable input they can use to make any needed adjustments to their offer based on market trends. In all, over 1,500 plan members and 500 plan sponsors participated in the 2015 edition of the Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey, the results of which were released in June. Here are some highlights.

The objectives of group plans need to be more clearly defined

Plan members and sponsors are now willing to change the way they see their health benefit plans. And plan sponsors really want to understand the impact the various benefits have on their employees’ health and productivity. But it will still take a lot of work to design plans that reflect an approach that supports health management as an organizational strategy, instead of a traditional compensation-based model.

The issue of chronic illness

One of the most important points that comes out of the survey is that employers underestimate how much of their workforce suffers from chronic health conditions. Employers estimate that 26% of their employees have a chronic condition, whereas in reality, 56% of plan members have received this kind of diagnosis. This proportion is as high as 78% for those 55 and over. Since employers are unaware of just how prevalent chronic conditions are among their workforce, they tend to underestimate the long-term repercussions on their business, both in terms of productivity and in terms of the cost of claims.

Based on the survey results, it’s important to make plans more flexible so they can adapt to demographic changes and the rise in chronic health conditions.

Take a few minutes to read the survey highlights Opens in a new window. (PDF, 1.4 MB). Want to know more about the Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey? Visit Sanofi Canada's website.

As one of the main sponsors of the survey, Desjardins Insurance is proud to partner with Sanofi, a major player whose industry-recognized surveys help employers develop effective health benefit plans.