Russia: Employee Benefits Update

August 2016: The following changes in employee benefits have been reported back by Asinta’s partner in Russia, MAI CEE:

Legal/Legislative Changes:

A new regulation on the minimum standards of voluntary health insurance for foreign citizens, went into effect on May 30, 2016. The new regulation determines a list of requirements that every health insurance policy for an expatriate has to contain.

Market Trends:

The employee benefit market in Russia is currently in a rough stage. Annual growth of voluntary health insurance has gone down year-by-year over the past several years and did not exceed 6% last year. This is less than the annual inflation rate (CPI) fixed for the same period.

Meanwhile, the high inflation rate in Russia has caused a significant increase in premiums, but many Russian clients have had to cut their employee benefits budgets due to financial crisis. Adjusting a companies current employee benefits programs and financial needs to fit the high prices given by the market is proving difficult. This trend is expected to continue for the rest of 2016 and into 2017.

The high health insurance premiums are also driving carriers to be more proactive in implementing new products to the market, in order to make health insurance more affordable for clients. One of the products that has emerged for the first time in Russia is the concept of a deductible in health insurance. Since a deductible is a way to control the loss ratio, programs with deductibles make insurance plans cheaper.