Date posted: 31/07/2023 5 min read

Retaining talent with health insurance

With staff turnover in New Zealand jumping to 20.5% in 2022, organisations are seeking novel ways to keep their key employees onboard. Brought to you by Crombie Lockwood.

The war for talent is raging around the world and New Zealand is no exception. Last year alone, the average national turnover jumped 2% to over 20%, a survey found, leaving employers scrambling for new strategies to increase retention.

Simply throwing more money at new hires has proven counterproductive, according to the Hays New Zealand Salary Guide, with 83% of employers forced to offer higher salaries amid crippling shortages.

Meanwhile, their existing staff want a bigger share of the pot, with just a third of workers planning to stay with their current employer past this financial year.

Beyond financial incentives

In a clever bid to keep their talent in the fold, a growing number of organisations are offering a range of enticing benefits, including group health insurance.

“The public health system is inundated and waiting lists are getting longer every day,” says Crombie Lockwood employee benefits manager Dirk Labuschagne. “It can take months or even years to get treatment, so group health insurance has become very attractive to employees.”

“The public health system in New Zealand is inundated… so group health insurance has become very attractive to employees.”
Dirk Labuschagne, Crombie Lockwood

Not only do employers who offer group health insurance cover demonstrate they’re invested in their employees’ wellbeing, they can also boost their organisation’s productivity by ensuring their workers receive timely treatment for medical issues.

But not all group health insurance schemes are created equal. Labuschagne recommends seeking out plans that cover pre-existing conditions, waive stand-down periods and can be extended to employees’ immediate family members at a discounted premium.

“This is a huge drawcard for those with a partner or child with a pre-existing condition who can’t get treated because they’ve been excluded from individual private health insurance,” he explains. “With the right type of group insurance, they’ll be covered for those conditions without any underwriting or medical questionnaires. They’re automatically accepted and cover starts from day one.”

Extending coverage to SMEs

While these group health insurance benefits are easily accessible for large corporations, they’re typically not offered to SMEs.

“To cover pre-existing conditions from day one, most insurers require a minimum of 15 to 25 employees,” says Labuschagne. “But some insurers offer policies specifically designed for businesses with as few as five. They can now enjoy the same benefits as bigger organisations.”

Beyond coverage for medical treatment, some policies also offer a range of wellness programs to enhance the beneficiaries’ general health, prevent illness and improve outcomes.

“These can include bowel screenings, women’s health, mental health support, cancer care, joint health and so much more,” says Labuschagne. “Instead of having surgery, someone with joint issues would have access to a team of physiotherapists and other medical professionals to help them make necessary lifestyle changes and strengthen their joints. Employees have access to these programs as part of their cover and they can get discounted rates for their family members based on group pricing.

“This type of coverage is a powerful tool to attract and retain employees in the current climate.”

Find out more

Send an online enquiry to find out more about Crombie Lockwood’s group health insurance offer – an exclusive member benefit designed specifically for CA ANZ business members with five or more employees.