The benefits of company health insurance

A quick look at whether taking out private medical insurance for your employees is worth the cost

Companies are always looking to keep their staff happy and while giving bonuses and days off work can help, the benefit of health insurance tops the list.

According to a CBI survey, small businesses have seen the best results when offering medical insurance to their staff, allowing them to beat the NHS waiting lists.

Increasing accessibility

Work health insurance schemes can give healthcare to those that may not usually have access to it. Private care is not affordable for many people and therefore they must endure the long waiting lists on the NHS for any treatment ranging from toothache to back pain.

A lot of work schemes will also include small children on the policy, giving a greater benefit to the individual and their family.

Increase staff retention

In a country where 33% of people consider leaving their job every year, any opportunity to retain staff is welcomed by business owners. Especially since there are additional costs to finding new human capital and training them effectively, so keeping hold of good people is key.

Employees have demonstrated they are more likely to stay at a job that has additional perks. Particularly health insurance, which shows a dedication to the individual’s wellbeing is highly appreciated by members of staff.

Boost productivity

The CBI survey highlights that around eight days are lost per year by an employee due to sick days. This may not involve taking full days off but also mornings or afternoons for appointments.

For those employees relying on the NHS, they may have to wait several weeks to be seen to treat chronic back pain or toothache. There are also likely to be several appointments before it is treated in order to be referred and these are often far away from home. This results in companies losing a lot of good work hours and productivity.

The solution is giving individuals a private health scheme so that they can choose a consultant near their home and at an hour that suits everybody. The worker gets treated quickly, is happier and works better as a result. Everyone wins.

Cost effective for employers

While providing staff with private healthcare is still a large investment, there are significant tax breaks available for firms. Plus, you typically receive a discount from your insurer by purchasing cover in bulk – so the more people you insure, the cheaper it will be to insure each person.

Companies and HR professionals need to look at private care as an investment. If it costs X but leads to greater productivity, it becomes commercially viable.

What options are available?

Firms have the option of dedicated work schemes that are based around offering private medical insurance (PMI) or health cash plans.

PMI covers a lot of things and can cost around £1,100 to insure an individual. Firms can choose the amount of cover and cut costs by choosing an amount of excess to pay, or allowing employees to pay their own excess.

To compare health insurance, a health cash plan involves paying a small amount, as little as £10 per month, and getting six times the value of what you pay towards treatments. With no medical examinations required, staff can use health cash plans quickly for common treatments from physios, dentists and optometrists.

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