Health Report of Corporate India 2023

Understanding corporate India's relationship with health and well-being
With inputs and recommendations from
A note from Saurabh Arora
At Plum, our mission is to profoundly impact the well-being of every Indian. We embarked on this journey with a clear vision: to make a meaningful difference in people's lives by partnering with organisations that share our values and dedication. Understanding that the health and wellness of employees are pivotal to this mission, we aim to empower employers with the knowledge and tools necessary to craft comprehensive, effective solutions for their teams. The landscape of employee health in India is complex. Despite the best intentions, companies today are not able to meet their team's health needs.

So we initiated an extensive research project.

We consulted with over 25 healthcare practitioners, surveyed 700+ employees, and analyzed upwards of 3500 employee healthcare plans and how employees use them.

Our goal was to gain a deep understanding of how working India views health and their relationship with their employers in this context. This report is our equivalent of an annual health check up of corporate India's health.  

While many companies are making commendable efforts, there is significant room for improvement:
  • A majority of employees feel their company cares for their health, yet the adoption rate of healthcare plans is only around 30%.
  • Many employees believe that the health benefits offered are not adequately personalised to meet their specific needs.
  • Addressing chronic illnesses and mental well-being remains a significant area where companies can enhance their support.
We hope that this report serves as a valuable resource in understanding your team's relationship with health and wellness.

Together, let's strive towards a healthier, happier working India.
Saurabh Arora
Cofounder & CTO
Key findings
Our insights on working India’s relationship with health, employers’ relationship with employee health, and gaps in expectations.
India’s approach to health is mostly reactive.
Most Indians focus on cure rather than prevention – with 90% not visiting doctors on a regular basis to keep a tab of their health. While health consciousness improves with age, not being able to detect issues early becomes an important problem.
Out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure is hurting India.
Over 71% of Indians pay for a majority of their healthcare expenses out of their pocket. With medical inflation rates at 14%, annual expenditures on healthcare can be as high as INR 50,000.
Sedentary corporate lifestyles are resulting in deteriorating health.
As Indians spend over a third of their lives working, doctors are concerned about corporate lifestyle-induced risks like sedentary lifestyles, the spread of illness, and workplace-related stress.
Employers have their hearts in the right place, but healthcare isn’t comprehensive enough.
While 60% of Indians believe that their employers care for their health, only 30% actively adopt a corporate-sponsored healthcare benefit. To make matters worse, <5% of employers offer comprehensive coverage spanning insurance, primary healthcare, and preventive healthcare.
Employer-sponsored health benefits are increasing healthcare penetration in India.
67% of insurance claims were raised for an employee’s dependent. 40% of employer-sponsored telehealth consultations benefited a relative, and over 30% were made in a non-metro city.
Flexible health benefits could be the way forward.
42% of employees expressed an interest in the availability of ‘flex benefits’, where they can choose their healthcare plans.
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Chapter 1

Indians and their health

Indians don’t prioritize their health
admit to not undergoing an annual health check-up.
do not visit doctors regularly to monitor their health.
“30-40% of patients coming to us are not even aware that they are prone to serious lifestyle diseases. Hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases are hidden in employees waiting to manifest. These are stress-induced problems. If we catch it early, we can save them.”
- Dr. Ashok Kapoor, MBBS, MD (Int.Medicine, DM(Cardio), F.CARD,MCCP Physician & Cardiologist.
Corporate lifestyles are only making matters worse.
Sedentary lifestyles
“60% of my clients do not exercise. They sit on a chair, ride a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler and constantly use smartphones. When the muscular system gets corrupted, the entire body malfunctions - right from hormonal issues to systemic problems and muscular pain.”
- Dr. Gladson Johnson, Sports Physiotherapist, Director of Attitude Prime
Risk of superspreaders
“Closed office environment is a major challenge. If one person falls sick, many others catch on. This is especially true for viral infections.”
- Dr. Ruby Taparia, Hyderabad-based Internal Medicine Specialist
Increased workplace stress
“Among patients who I have examined, 25% are dealing with anxiety and stress; 23% deal with career and self-growth issues; 15% are clinically depressed; 15% have relationship issues; 2% deal with anger management; 8% grief and loss; and 12% trauma.”
- Dr. Manisha Rathore, Senior Psychologist, Plum Telehealth
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Healthcare is expensive.
of employees pay for healthcare spends out of their own pocket.
Average cost of consultation per speciality in urban India
82% of urban households in India are not covered under any health insurance scheme, resulting in 55% of all hospitalisations being financed through household savings and 23% through borrowings
Find out how investing in primary healthcare helps employees. Download report.
Chapter 2

Employers and employee health

The health benefits stack
Only 10% of employees might make an insurance claim, but everyone finds preventive healthcare useful. The corporate healthcare stack needs to extend beyond insurance to include health, wellness, and care.
Preventive Healthcare
Affordable and convenient access to diagnostics, nutrition, and health benefits  for employees and their family – impacting employee morale and wellbeing.
Primary Healthcare
Access to high-quality healthcare at affordable costs and increased convenience. This has positive impacts on employee health, productivity, and employee healthcare costs in the long term.
Health Insurance
Access to comprehensive employee health insurance at lower or no cost, and support when it matters most.
As a company operating in the employee wellness and health benefits space, we've consulted with over 3700 companies in their corporate healthcare strategy. Our business team modelled data from 3500+ employee healthcare policies and analyzed the habits/adoption/usage of over 3 lakh employees and their dependents.
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Employer-sponsored insurance coverage is inadequate in India
3 Lakh
the median sum insured offered by India’s employers
Employer sponsored insurance is not progressive enough
“A truly comprehensive cover, for one, will allow employees to include the people they want, define their families, and choose their dependents. Parents, children, live-in partners, same-sex partners, and even siblings, there will be minimal boundaries for who you are covering.”
- Aditya Bagarka, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Plum.
Yet, it’s improving healthcare penetration in the country
of claims were raised for an employees’ dependent.
Read our report to find out what working India's raising an insurance claim for. Download report.
of companies offer employer sponsored telehealth to their employees.
of companies offer OPD coverage to their employees.
“Therapy sessions for mental or physical health are a recurring cost (for employees). (In addition), there are growing cases of autism in children for which employees have to pay. Offering higher OPD benefits to employees can help.”
- Doctor Archana PS, Physiotherapist, Plum Telehealth
Employees are using telehealth to address sensitive healthcare needs
What are employees using telehealth for?
of consultations are for a general physician
Most common issues: Fever, cough and cold
of consultations are for dermatologists
Most common issues: Acne and pimples, hair fall, and dandruff
of consultations are for mental wellness
Most common issues: Anxiety, stress and coping, relationship issues
of consultations are for nutritionists
Most common issue: Weight loss and diet planning
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Telehealth is making quality healthcare accessible to India’s non-metro cities
30% of telehealth consultations were made in non-metro cities.
of non metro bookings were made by employees
Most common consultations:
General Physician
Mental Health
of non-metro bookings were made for an employee’s family member
Most common consultations:
General Physician
Find out how investing in primary healthcare helps employees. Download report.
With (virtual) primary healthcare, employers were able to save their employees over
6 Crores
in healthcare costs.
Indian companies are taking the right steps in the direction of healthcare.
60% of employees believe their companies care for their health and wellbeing.
of companies offer employees the option of discounted health checkups
of companies offer employees dental and vision benefits
of companies offer the option for discounted medicines
of companies offer options for mental wellbeing through telehealth or other mental wellness benefits
But there are miles to go
Only 30% of employees participate in a company’s healthcare initiative.
of employees avail corporate sponsored healthcare checkups
of employees avail discounted medicines
of employees take up a vision check up
of employees avail a company’s mental health benefits
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For a more nuanced read into why health benefits adoption is low, read the complete report
With preventive healthcare, employers were able to save their employees over
1.8 Crores
in healthcare costs.
Chapter 3

Gaps in corporate healthcare

Companies aren’t offering comprehensive healthcare options to their employees.
of companies offer comprehensive healthcare options to their employees that include insurance, telehealth, and other health benefits.
Utilization of healthcare plans remains a challenge.
of employees actively participate in an organisation’s healthcare initiatives.
Last mile personalization is missing when it comes to health benefits.
of employees expressed an interest in the availability of ‘flex benefits’, where they get to choose their healthcare plans.
Employers need to think of chronic illness in their healthcare plans.
of employees with a chronic illness do not feel supported by their employers.
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How healthy are your health benefits? For a detailed personalized consultation, speak to our experts.
Research and Methodology
This report contains insights on working India’s relationship with health, employers’ relationship with employee health, and gaps in expectations.
We used multiple sources of data to create as comprehensive a narrative as possible.
A review of
employee healthcare plans, courtesy of The State of Employee
Benefits, Plum’s flagship report.
An analysis of over
doctor consultations over Plum telehealth, spanning from February - August 2023
Interviews with
doctors and healthcare experts.
Plum’s survey of
respondents about their relationship with health and employee benefits