The importance of health insurance in business
The importance of health insurance in business
Charlotte Rose Daniells
While offering health insurance to your employees isn’t mandatory in the UK, it can nonetheless be a great way to enhance your workplace productivity, improve staff morale, and incentivise top talent to join your team.
But what is company health insurance, and how does it work? In this blog, we’re going to provide you a comprehensive guide to offering health insurance to your employees, along with 7 reasons why doing so can be beneficial for your business. Let’s take a look!
Corporate health insurance is medical coverage that your employees can use in the event that they fall ill and need medical treatment in the future. While there’s no legal obligation to offer your employees healthcare (as all British residents and working visa-holders are eligible for comprehensive free treatment on the NHS), doing so can offer a lucrative benefits package to new employees. Plus, health insurance will also help to cut back on excess sick days due to long NHS waiting times.
The coverage that your staff are entitled to will depend on the terms of the insurance policy that you decide to opt for. That being said, most corporate health insurance policies won’t cover things like pre-existing conditions, prenatal, and postnatal care (aside from pregnancy complications, which some insurers cover), chronic conditions (such as asthma or diabetes), as well as accident and emergency care - the NHS covers this. Depending on the insurance provider you choose, health insurance for business could include medical coverage for the following: (do note that exact policies may be subject to limitations or conditions.)
From fewer sick days to a more energised workforce, here are just some of the benefits of offering private health insurance to your employees:
When employees take excess sick days, it’s not great for your business. This is especially true if you’re obliged to find paid cover while also covering sick pay for your absent employee. The cost of sick pay can add up quickly for small businesses, and the total cost of illness-related absences was estimated to be a whopping £100 billion in 2020, according to government figures. When this figure is broken down, the data estimates that employers lose around £781 per year on sick pay and illness-related absences. While £781 might not seem like a large sum upfront, annual losses like these can be devastating for small or new businesses.
Offering healthcare coverage for your employees won’t magically make them immune to illness, but it will ensure that they’re treated promptly, with access to some of the best medical professionals and facilities in the UK. NHS waiting times remain at a record-high, so ensuring that any ill staff member receives quick treatment can prevent long absences and high costs for your business.
Businesses work best when you have a skilled, competent team helping you run things - but if you want to attract top talent, you need to offer a lucrative benefits package. Salary aside, by offering valuable employee perks - such as private health insurance - you can draw the best and brightest of your field into your business. Not only does it give you an edge over other businesses competing for the same talented professionals, but it also makes your business appear more successful and promising. A business that has the means to offer private health insurance to its employees will appear financially stable and lucrative, with room for advancement for ambitious and hard-working individuals.
Offering private health insurance won’t just help attract talent to your business, it can also help you retain it too. As many businesses already know, the “great resignation” trend of 2021 has left many businesses running without key roles filled, as employees quit their positions to search for more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. By offering private health insurance to your employees, you can demonstrate that their wellbeing - both mental and physical - is important in the workplace, while also holding onto your employees for longer.
With a basic corporate health insurance policy, your employees will be able to benefit from some of the best medical treatments in the UK, including some treatments and medications that are not yet widely available on the NHS. Not only that, but they’ll be able to skip the long waiting times currently overwhelming the NHS, and be back at work sooner than they would have had they waited for their treatment. This is especially true if any of your employees are required to perform physical labour or work on their feet - injuries and illnesses can impact an employee’s job performance and attendance for weeks or even months.
Some corporate insurance policies, such as Vitality, even offer discounted gym memberships and fitness tracking devices, allowing your employees to better maintain their physical health outside the office. A healthy workforce = a more productive workforce, so both employees and management can benefit from a PMI perk.
With websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, it’s easier than ever to build a positive reputation for your business. Before taking on a role, many prospective employees will conduct basic research on your company, and some might even reach out to former or current employees for more detailed information on issues like company culture and work/life balance. By offering private health insurance, you’re more likely to foster a positive business reputation amongst current and former employees; you certainly won’t lose points when it comes to the wellbeing and health of your employees, which many young people in particular cite as a key factor when it comes to choosing an organisation to work for.
In the last year, 88% of the UK workforce reported to have experienced ‘burnout’, an umbrella term used to describe work-related exhaustion and stress. These findings are somewhat unsurprising; between longer hybrid working hours, high childcare costs, and an estimated £35 billion lost in unpaid overtime annually, the UK workforce does appear to struggle when it comes to maintaining employee wellbeing.
What’s worse, work-related stress can easily be exacerbated if an individual is unable to access quick and prompt mental health support. With 1.2 million people already on the NHS waiting list for mental health services, private health insurance can ensure that employees have access to quick, comprehensive support and care. Do note that not all insurance policies may cover mental health support, but having a healthcare plan with mental health support included can be hugely beneficial both to your business and your staff.
Finally, digital GP support is another reason to offer private health insurance to your employees. With quick access to medical support and easy video consultations conducted online, your employees will take fewer personal days to attend routine appointments, without compromising their health or ignoring troubling symptoms. Insurers such as Bupa offer incredible digital and app-based GP services, so you’ll never be without quality support and medical care.
Overall, there are few disadvantages to offering private health insurance to your employees. While it does represent a cost investment for your organisation, don’t forget that UK businesses lose billions annually in sick pay and prolonged absences. With a healthier, happier workforce, you’ll foster a positive business reputation, while also showing your employees that they’re valued in the workplace.
Your premium can be paid on a monthly or annual payment plan. The most common way to pay is by direct debit – this method is accepted by all our insurers. Some of our insurers also accept payment by BACS and annual payment by cheque.
All insurers have a “cooling off period” usually between 14 and 30 days, allowing you to cancel your policy and any monies debited will be fully refunded. Should you choose to cancel outside of the 'cooling off period', you will need to notify us and we will be able to assist you from there.
As a nation we are fortunate to have a publicly funded health service, giving everyone access to treatment at little to no cost. Due to increasing pressure on the NHS, many people now face long waiting lists and delayed or cancelled treatment.Whilst receiving private treatment you will not face long waiting lists for treatment, in fact you are likely to be seen within a week or so. Health Insurance offers you access to a choice of hospitals and treatment times that suit you, with overnight stays often being in a private room.
Long NHS waiting lists and cancelled or delayed procedures are a common motivation for initial enquiries into Health Insurance. Depending on the condition, it is unlikely it will be covered on your plan. Although, if you have a pre-existing condition speak to one of our expert advisors as different underwriting options may suit your needs.
We will be in touch shortly to run through your free tailor-made quote from UK’s leading insurers. Our prices won’t be beaten with our best price guarantee.