NEWS PROVIDED BY

RBC Insurance

Highlights:

  • 72 per cent of working Canadians would perceive their employer more positively if their employer offered a virtual care or telemedicine solution through its group benefits, a more common belief held among millennials (78 per cent).
  • Interest in virtual care for mental health services is highest among younger Canadians (18-34), more than half of whom are likely to use it to consult mental health practitioners (53%) and for video/telephone mental health counselling (51%).
  • It’s important for employers to recognize this preference among younger working Canadians as these workers tend to rate their employer, job satisfaction and mental health significantly lower than older generations.

TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2020 /CNW/ – Three-quarters (72%) of working Canadians indicate that they would perceive their employer in a more positive light if their employer offered virtual care/telemedicine, a service which would eliminate the need to leave work or home, according to a recent RBC Insurance survey. This perception is driven mostly by younger working Canadians (18-34) who are the most likely to indicate that a virtual care offering would improve opinions of their employer (78 per cent compared to 60 per cent of those 55+). This is significant as younger working Canadians tend to rank job satisfaction, employers and mental health the lowest among all working Canadians.

“Many working Canadians face time constraints when visiting health practitioners, constraints that include wait times to see specialists like psychologists and psychiatrists, the availability of a healthcare practitioner and the ability to get time off work,” says Julie Gaudry, Senior Director of Group Insurance, RBC Insurance. “Younger Canadians are even more likely to face these types of obstacles, so by implementing innovative programs such as virtual care or telemedicine, employers can alleviate some of the challenges, which in turn can help increase employee health and morale.”

The survey also found younger Canadians are more likely to value virtual care for mental health services including consulting mental health practitioners and/or video/telephone counselling than their older counterparts. This is important since younger Canadians are also more likely to report lower levels of wellbeing and mental health than older Canadians. Among 18-34 year-olds, 57 per cent say their mental health is good or excellent, compared to 79 per cent of those older than 55.

Table – Use of virtual care for mental health services among working Canadians

Age

18-34

35-54

55+

Would use virtual care to consult mental health practitioners

53%

52%

39%

Would perceive their employer more positively if offered virtual care or telemedicine

78%

74%

60%

“With our Onward by Best Doctors program we’ve already seen the power of virtual care. It has improved access to mental health experts and shortened recovery times for plan members with mental health related disability claims,” said Gaudry. “And by using virtual mental health care to help plan members and their families address their mental health concerns earlier and faster, we can potentially prevent someone from becoming so unwell that they are no longer able to work.”

The value of digital tools extends beyond health care delivery to managing insurance benefits. Two-thirds (66%) of working Canadians indicate that they prefer a mobile app to manage and access their insurance benefits as opposed to using paper mail, telephone, or even online services. Once again, this preference is highest among younger Canadians, particularly Millennials, while less than half of Baby Boomers echo this sentiment (18-34 77%, 35-54 66% vs. 55+ 48%).

Given that nine in ten working Canadians (94 per cent) are more likely to work for an employer that cares about their overall health and wellbeing, HR leaders should look for value-add digital services when it comes to group benefits that can help promote employee morale and health, such as:

  • Making Employee Assistance Programs more accessible – Look to employee assistance programs that make support available digitally to address their most common work/life challenges (caregiving, divorce, grief, etc.) that may affect work performance.
  • Offering virtual healthcare options – Support an employee’s mental and physical health by providing access to experts and resources through virtual care such as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program that uses digital education, videos and assignments with support from a therapist to help users meet their goals.
  • Providing digital tools to make it easier to understand/use benefits Consider a mobile app that employees can use to manage insurance benefits and learn more about the services and programs available to them.
  • Personalizing wellness programs: The survey also found that the majority of working Canadians (80 per cent) report that their overall wellbeing would improve if their employer were to offer a personalized wellness programthat is customized to an individual’s specific wellness and health related interests and goals.

About the RBC Insurance Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 7 and May 10, 2019, on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1501 employed Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all employed Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth, annuities and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada, one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance is among the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organizations, with approximately 2,900 employees who serve more than five million clients globally. For more information, please visit rbcinsurance.com.

SOURCE RBC Insurance

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