With 9 in 10 employees choosing health as their top life priority and NHS waiting lists mounting, it’s no wonder private medical insurance is so sought after right now.
Employers can help support their staff by investing in a Business Health Insurance plan. But how do you find the best deal in a market full of providers offering different schemes with different price-points and features?
Whether you’re thinking of buying Business Health Insurance for the first time, or reviewing your current scheme, this article will help you make the smartest decision.
Get FREE one-to-one advice and support on health insurance by contacting our independent brokers on +44 (0)1273 974419 or via the chat box on the right.
#1 Find out what your staff need
Lots of policies are modular these days so a great place to begin is to get insights on what’s important to your staff. Perhaps psychiatric cover is a necessity for your team? Maybe limiting the amount of out-patient cover would be worthwhile? Could having access to a private GP in central London be a priority?
The whole purpose of buying Business Health Insurance is to support the needs of your staff. So, the first crucial step – which you really shouldn’t gloss over! – is to consult your team and discover what it is they need.
You can find out what your staff want via:
- Group discussions
- Regular 1-2-1s
- Employee surveys
- Assessing HR data on absences, staff turnover, usage of benefits currently offered
- Tracking general workplace trends and shifting staff priorities
- Considering demographics and how this can impact demand
#2 Be cautious of sales people representing a single insurer
While professional and knowledgeable in most instances, selling you their product – and their product alone – is an insurer’s main priority above anything else. Like all good sales people, they will focus on the great points of their offering, but can’t give you an impartial view of how they stack up against competitors.
Product, benefits, features, services, administration, and claims can vary wildly between insurers, so how can this person be sure that your needs wouldn’t be better served elsewhere? Having a full breadth and understanding of the whole market is going to ensure you are leaving with the best deal.
#3 Avoid online comparison websites
Comparison sites can leave just about anyone confused and with more questions than when you began the whole process. The big comparison websites will often pass your business details onto third parties, resulting in numerous unexpected phone calls and emails from sales people.
Yes, it is tempting to simply just click website links promising a “quick quote”, but realistically this will be an online form for your personal details agreeing for a sales person to get back in contact with you!
#4 Consider the importance of wellbeing add-ons
The success of the health insurance market relies heavily on healthy people being covered to offset the claims cost of those who become ill and need care. In recent years many insurers have started to provide wellness initiatives as part of their products to incentivise healthy behaviour and provide greater value to members. These extra wellbeing products are a fantastic way to boost your healthcare plan and show staff how you are responding to their needs.
There are many add-ons and employee benefits that work well with a base Group Health Insurance policy:
- Gym memberships
- Health Screenings
- Employee Assistance Programmes
- Health Cash Plans
- Wellbeing apps
- Online benefits platforms
- Dental/Optical cover
- Second Opinion Service
Looking for help buying the right health insurance policy for your staff? Contact our award-winning brokers on +44 (0)1273 974419 or click on the bottom right chat box.
#5 Consider your hospital selection
Are your staff going to benefit the most from having access to top-tier hospitals in Central London covered? Probably not. There is a common misconception that the amount a hospital charges for accommodation, treatments, and other services is directly related to clinical outcomes. This simply isn’t the case.
A hospital selection more suited to your employee’s geographical location or based on thorough research addressing the needs and priorities of your staff can deliver handsome savings on your premium and still provide an excellent setting for any treatment.
#6 Don’t be afraid to double check with consultant fees
Whilst most insurers say they provide “Full Refund” for consultant costs, what most actually mean is that they will cover in full up to an amount they deem reasonable and customary for the procedure in question. This can mean that customers are left with a shortfall between what the consultant charges and what the insurer is willing to pay. Insurers often catch the brunt of customers’ frustrations at this point!
Truth be told, if an insurer won’t pay a consultant’s bill in full, it’s likely the consultant is charging more than the typical cost for that procedure. So, with no clear evidence that their clinical outcomes, expertise, experience or re-admission rates warrant a higher value on their work, the cover isn’t going to cut it. Some insurers can genuinely provide full cover for consultants, surgeons and anesthetists so it’s important to consider your priorities here.
#7 Policy Excess
An excess is a great way to reduce premiums by agreeing to pay the first £XXX amount of a claim. If your staff are most concerned with very large healthcare costs, a great way to keep the premiums low is to offer options for a large excess.
Keep in mind, however, that a large number of claims can mean that you have to pay out a lot of excess and it all adds up! The best type of excess is one which only charges excess once per person per policy year. This means that if the same person claims multiple times, you are not paying excess multiple times, only for the first claim in that year.
Is raising the excess is the most cost-efficient way to buy Business Health Insurance? This will depend on the number of claims you’re likely to make and the stipulation in the terms. It’s another reason why employing an independent broker like Engage and getting free expert advice is highly recommended.
Speaking of which….
#8 Seek independent qualified advice
Our final top tip for when you buy Business Health Insurance is to seek independent advice from a qualified intermediary who has access to all UK health insurance providers across the whole industry. Specialist health insurance brokers offer an impartial view of the market and provide you with prices from all insurers.
In short, they will genuinely put your needs at the top of their priority list without having to shoehorn you into products which aren’t quite the right fit! With connections to all insurers, but no allegiance to any, there is the guarantee that any views of specific insurers (good, bad, and indifferent) are impartial and based on real customer experiences.
At Engage Health Group, we help to ensure there are no nasty surprises encountered along the way, working to get you the perfect blend of employee benefits and health insurance policies for your staff and business. Coming at no extra cost to your business, we specialise in negotiating with insurance companies and finding the best quotes possible saving you and your HR teams the legwork.
Contact us at [email protected] or call +44 (0)1273 974419 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.