Private health insurance is becoming a bigger and bigger talent draw for companies in the UK. But why else is it worth offering private healthcare to your team?
Here’s a little dive into the benefits and cost of private health insurance and why you might or might not want to include it in the employment packages your business offers:
Why should I offer health insurance to my employees?
1) Attract the best and brightest talent
Private health insurance has become a powerful recruitment tool for many businesses.
In fact, it’s estimated that around 1 in 3 people in the UK actively seek this benefit when choosing their employer. That’s set against around just over 1 in 10 employees who currently have it.
This gap makes offering private healthcare as part of your remuneration package a big benefit if you want to appeal to the top talent. This is particularly important at a time when there is an increasingly competitive jobs market for employers in many industries.
2) Boost productivity with a healthy workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic made it all too clear that your productivity is going to suffer if your team starts suffering from ill health.
It’s not just that sick team members can’t work. There is also the challenge of presenteeism. This is the growing phenomenon of people who feel they can’t take time off work for some reason, then turn up sick and work at hugely reduced productivity (as well as infecting more team members).
The productivity impacts of unhealthy workplaces are massive, costing the UK economy an estimated billions of pounds each year. Both physical maladies and the mental health of your team are concerns here. Burnout and stress affect thousands of people in the UK annually.
Private healthcare can support your team’s mental and physical wellbeing at a time when the NHS faces continually growing pressure.
3) Protect your team members’ families too
Some private health insurance stretches beyond your team members to give their families a safety net too.
From one viewpoint, this is a clear sign that you care about your team and their overall well-being which will always go down well.
But there’s an added advantage too. This that there are going to be far fewer absences caused by team members needing to take time off to care for sick relatives.
4) Go beyond NHS cover
Most of us wish that the NHS and the people who work in it received the support and funding they need to do the incredibly hard work they do on behalf of all of us.
Even when properly supported though, there are some occasions when the NHS might not be able to deliver the kind of services that private healthcare might, such as:
- Access to new or “cost-ineffective” treatments – imagine a team member suffering from an illness that might be treatable with a certain new prototype treatment.
- Treatments not currently offered – there are also certain health services and support the NHS either doesn’t or can’t currently provide. This includes things like osteopathy, for instance (depending on your local NHS integrated care board).
5) Get more flexible, personalised care
Again, broadly thanks to a lack of proper support and funding, the NHS can’t always compete with what private healthcare providers offer in terms of shorter waiting times and personalised care.
Hopefully, this may start to become less stark in years to come. For now though, private health insurance can help your team bypass overloaded services and long waits to get treatment.
How much does a business health insurance policy cost?
Those are some serious pros. But what about the cons of offering private health insurance to your team?
Well, it should be no surprise that the downsides of offering your team private healthcare as part of their employment benefits can be summed up in a single word – cost.
- Average cost – of private health insurance can start at around £250 per year per employee.
- More people, lower cost – as you might expect, the more employees you have, the lower the costs per person are.
- Older people and some locations cost more – again, it’s fairly unsurprising that some places (notably London) and older workforces tend to up the cost of health coverage.
- The industry you’re in – industries perceived as riskier will attract higher private health insurance charges.
- What and how much you cover – the more you cover, the lower the excess your employees will pay for any given treatment, the higher the cost to your business.
Despite this though, the many and varied benefits of private health insurance are there to be seen. On one level, it’s sad that we’ve come to this in the UK. On another, here we are.
So if you can make space for it in your budget, it’s almost certainly worth offering private healthcare to your team.
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