Why offering Private Medical Insurance could be good for your business
As news headlines highlight, NHS waiting lists are worryingly long. Around 400,000 people are waiting over a year to receive their medical treatment.
At the same time, it’s likely employees will suffer some form of physical or mental illness that requires treatment. One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime. 16% of adults experience moderate to severe depressive symptoms, rising to 24% of those struggling to pay energy bills.
If these are your employees, they could be in too much pain to attend work some days, or could be arriving at work under par, impacting your productivity.
Many business studies demonstrate that having a happy and healthy workforce is fundamental to business output. Employees’ physical and mental health is a significant determinant of how businesses perform. Being able to alleviate employees’ anxiety and stress, by offering them a lifeline that can help them return to fitness, is also a differentiator of employers investing in private medical insurance for their staff.
The number of ‘staff’ able to access such a benefit can be as low as ‘one’, and that could be the SME (small medium enterprises) owner of a company. It could equally, however, be a far greater number of employees.
Private medical insurance has probably never been as relevant to so many employees as it is today. Twenty years ago, it may well have been viewed as a privilege, even as something that was anti-NHS. Now it’s viewed as a means to not only get the right treatment, as and when required, but also as a means to alleviate pressure on the NHS, freeing it up for those who need it most.
Having private medical insurance means having fast access to health services, irrespective of your income or wealth, if you are insured on a company scheme. It is a way for an employer to demonstrate required Duty of Care and also do all they can to promote the physical and mental health and well-being of their employees. This can assist both employee recruitment and retention in a market where finding the right talent and committed employees is currently notoriously hard.
From the employer’s point of view, if they’re a small business in which the owner’s input is vital, private medical insurance can help that key person back into work in the shortest possible time.
If it is a larger company, this can help reduce rates of sickness and absenteeism, making sure that employees are out of the workplace, having their appointments and consultations, for as short a period as possible. Given the flexibility over appointments that private medical insurance providers offer, employees can book appointments to suit their schedules or also access more of the help they need online.
Counselling is another huge benefit of a private medical policy, whether that relates to mental health or, perhaps, grief counselling for an employee following a bereavement. Rather than struggling to manage such mental health pressures within the workplace, an employer can have professionals step in and assist, offering the right help, at the right time.
Depending on the policy coverage, employees could also have their treatment or operations in suitable hospitals closer to where they live, rather than travelling miles to appointments.
Better overall well-being can also be achieved in the workplace, by virtue of many of the preventative services that can come with private medical care, such as gym membership discounts, advice on diet and exercise, and a 24/7 health line, for whenever there are health queries, as this depends on the policy coverage, so it’s always best to discuss your needs with your broker.
When policies can also be extended, so employees can include their children, and when plans can be created for group leavers and retirees, there are lots of advantages to be accrued from examining what private medical insurance could do for your business. Having such cover in place sends a very strong signal that it is not just the bricks and mortar and physical plant within your business that matters to you, but your very greatest asset, too – your people.
As more employers grasp the correlation between employee health and well being and business performance, staying competitive may well require employers to go further to assist with employees’ health scenarios.
Talk to us today about the private medical insurance policies available to your organisation, and let us help build greater resilience within your business.