The Cost of Working to 70
EMPLOYER-SPONSORED BENEFIT PLANS AT RISK
The employee landscape continues to change, and because
of our vastly improved health care, people are living longer
lives. Companies are experiencing the period of the aging
worker, and this time of social change is forcing employers
to restructure and rethink the cost implications of providing well-being
support and benefit plans to workers so that they can stay
healthy and fit while on the job.
Recently, the World Economic Forum stated that Canadians
will have to work longer, and with today’s younger generation pre-dicted
to have a life expectancy of more than 100, the retirement
age will likely move up to 70 by the middle of the century.
The increase in longevity and resulting ageing population means
a workforce that could be exposed to multiple chronic health con-ditions.
And, if employers want to retain, engage and motivate this
older employee demographic, they will need to provide forms of
health benefits management while trying to keep benefits costs
down. This could be a source of great challenge if companies don’t
know where to look and what data to analyze that could help them
restructure their benefit plan strategies to meet their workforce re-quirements
and their business financial needs.
“Older workers have skills and lots of value, but employers are
feeling overwhelmed by the strain of keeping these employees
healthy while on the job,” said John Herbert, director of strate-gy,
product development and clinical services for Express Scripts
Canada, a provider of health benefits management services.
“Working to the age of 70 weighs heavily on employer-sponsored
benefit plans; now more than ever, due to rising costs associated
with prescription drugs, thought must be given as to how benefit
plans are going to be delivered to employees.”
THE FINANCIAL TRUTHS OF HEALTH
High-cost drugs and older, high-cost patients can create troubling
work environments. A 2014 Sanofi study found that tensions
are rising with 70 per cent of employers concerned about the
By Anthea Gomez
Photos courtesy of Express Scripts Canada
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ SEPTEMBER 2017 ❚ 29