Cristina López
Director of Employee Benefits
Murguía Consultore
View from the Top

Wellness Making Inroads in Insurance

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 13:10

Q: What advantages or benefits do clients receive from an insurance broker like Murguía Consultores?

A: Being a specialized broker enables Murguía Consultores to identify client needs. Identifying when to offer benefits to employees is important, so we develop three to five-year plans that allow clients to modify provided benefits according to their changing needs. The ability to develop strategic plans and to provide agile, tailor-made solutions and personalized services are some of our strategic advantages. Murguía has a team of 15 people that take care of health-related events by providing our clients with direct 24/7 assistance.

Q: What role does prevention play in Murguía Consultores’ offering?

A: When a Murguía client contracts any of our three programs, our supplier Uhma performs medical examinations and applies a health risk-assessment questionnaire. This provides an insight on people’s habits and lifestyles. Based on that health assessment, Murguía develops a demographic profile of the company that enables it to identify common diseases and develop tailormade solutions to prevent or minimize them. Our programs are focused on generating changes in habits to achieve positive health results.

Q: What are the most common diseases companies see among their employees?

A: There are two kinds of health-related events: the chronic and the catastrophic. Many chronic events are related to stress: gastritis, colitis and even paralysis are caused by stress. Lack of physical activity can also aggravate stress-related diseases. Even if these conditions are diagnosed, they are usually not covered by insurance policies. The most common catastrophic events are cancer, intestinal obstruction and heart stroke, which sometimes are related to both stress and obesity. Companies that do not promote exercise may have employees who are vulnerable to disease, especially those who are over 30 years old. For a company prevention program to succeed, we must start with young people right when they begin their working life and habits.

Exercising regularly, taking an entire hour for lunch and not eating in front of the TV are some habits that companies should promote to keep people healthy. There is a vicious cycle that prompts health-related events: many people work 10 hours a day for minimum wage, and must commute for up to four hours daily, lacking the time to exercise. Because they earn minimum wage, they are likely to have unhealthy eating habits. Obesity follows and eventually employees suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular problems and related diseases. We need to break this cycle.

Q: How do you help people over 35 years old to change their habits?

A: A campaign that usually has good results is to remove trash cans from the office, which compels workers to get up and walk. Walking contests also have positive results. Providing rewards like vacation days or cinema tickets is important. When employees start noticing results, they stop doing it for rewards and start doing it for their wellbeing.

Q: What are the advantages and challenges of micro insurance?

A: Companies like American Express sell a series of inexpensive micro insurance policies, such as life and travel. However, when a person takes out a loan, the organization providing it must include life insurance (payment protection indemnization) so that the credit is paid if the creditor passes away. Micro insurance should not be for sale, it must be given to the people in the poorest social segment.

Q: What are Murguía’s biggest challenges?

A: The biggest challenge is becoming more efficient, being up-to-date on global trends, achieving differentiation and being in direct contact with patients instead of over the phone or by email. For the rest of 2017, our challenges are preventing mistakes, further training our staff and preparing for next year’s potentially politically troublesome situation