Healthcare is an increasing focus for many organisations and their HR departments in 2015.  With pension auto-enrolment behind many of the larger organisations this will have redressed a necessary swing to a focus on pensions and HR departments will be able to spend time reviewing other benefits, particularly health and wellbeing.

With budgets expected to remain tight we forsee a continued growth in the Health Cashplan sector in particular, with employers making provision for those not provided with healthcare benefits or healthcare management systems.

The key influences expected in 2015 are:

*  The government-funded Health & Work Service will allow employers to claim tax relief on expenditure up to £500. With the musculoskeletal conditions accounting for a large proportion of Group Private Medical Insurance (Group PMI) schemes and employee absence there is likely to be an increased demand for tax efficient ways to address this issue.

*  With pension auto-enrolment now part of the mainstream benefits vernacular, HR and reward communities may now take a different attitude to their thinking on health and protection policies, specifically considering the needs of all employees, longer term strategy and seeking broader advice from their Advisers.

*  Research shows that 93% of Employers believe it is appropriate to promote health (including health benefits such as Group PMI, Health Cashplans, Dental plans and Health Screenings) to employees. HR departments will be putting greater emphasis on an evidenced return from their own investment in healthcare benefits and services.

*  There will be continued growth in the Health Cash Plan sector resulting in an increased likelihood of reduced excess discounts for Group PMI schemes where a company-paid cash plan is also provided.

*  As there are fewer NHS dentists available there will be an increased demand for private dental plans.

*  After pension auto-enrolment a pension will no longer differentiate Employers and their Total Reward packages yet a competitive benefits package will be more vital than ever to attract and retain staff.

*  Finally, as the Health and Wellbeing market continues to bring out innovative plans in 2015, employers will be able to provide bespoke tailor made solutions relevant to their employees, sector and type of organisation.

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