With Brexit uncertainty and widely forecast inflation rises, a business health cash plan could be just the prescription for hard pressed companies right now.
A lower cost option than company medical insurance, they can nonetheless support workplace wellness strategies, help reduce sickness absence and provide valued benefits, not just to senior management, but all your staff.
Health cash plans for employees also encourage staff to take care of themselves by arranging regular check-ups and seeking early treatment and advice when struck by symptoms.
When protected by a medical cash plan an employee can arrange things like dental check-ups, eye-tests, private GP consultations, counselling and physiotherapy treatments. They can then reclaim the cost subject to the annual limits detailed in the plan.
Treatments and services are restricted to everyday health management, rather than the wider remit of private medical insurance. This means business health cash plans are also budget-friendly, whether being paid for in full by the employer or employees, or being funded on a shared-costs basis. For some plans the cost may be as a little as £1 per employee per week.
If you’re still thinking that £52 – or whatever the cost to your business might be – is still too much of a burden, then consider how much it costs you when an employee is off work. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s newly published Absence Management survey, the average cost of sickness absence is £522.
Obviously the benefits offered by an employee cash plan will vary. Different providers offer different benefits, limits and restrictions and may have strengths in particular specialisms or geographic regions. Aviva, BUPA, Healthshield, Simplyhealth, Westfield and WPA are among insurers offering medical cash plans, so the choice is wide.
However, popular benefits include:
By introducing a business health cash plan you’ll be sending a signal to your staff – and potential staff – that you care about their wellbeing. Research consistently shows health and wellbeing benefits are highly cherished so offering them can give you a competitive edge in the recruitment market. They can also help you retain existing staff and help them maximise their contribution to business through reduced sickness absence.
Take physiotherapy treatment as an example. Go private and a patient can be seen in days, not weeks. For you, as an employer, that could mean staff members recovering more quickly from a musculoskeletal injury or age-related ailments such as lower back pain or frozen shoulder.
As we previously reported stress and mental health issues are also causing increased sickness absence for many organisations. By offering staff access to counselling services you can help them address the symptoms and help stop them from escalating.
An employee cash plan can be beneficial to businesses of all sizes, from SMEs to international corporates. They are also incredibly flexible. Individual employees may be able to choose which benefits they want, depending on their own health priorities and concerns. From the employer’s perspective, the funding options are also pleasingly fluid. A business may choose to wholly fund a plan or invite staff to make a contribution. They can even simply set up a plan to offer “bulk buying” benefits to employees who then themselves pay the premiums.
Cost efficiencies can also be secured by offering business health care cash plans under a salary sacrifice scheme. This minimises your employees’ tax liability whilst also trimming the cost of National Insurance contributions for both employer and workforce.
Business can even focus on particular treatments and services, perhaps by introducing a dental cash plan in response to staff concerns about the availability of NHS dentists in their locality.
Finally, most health cash plans don’t require your employees to undergo a medical, so they’re simple to implement.
Would you like a bespoke health cash plan quote for your business? We’d be happy to offer you free, independent and expert advice. To arrange your consultation, just call our team on 01254 504910.