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What is a Business Health Cash Plan scheme?

It’s a form of health insurance which provides cover for the more typical, everyday healthcare costs which we all experience. Like many healthcare insurance schemes, there are policies available for both businesses and individuals.

While the benefit levels are lower than traditional Group Medical Insurance, they can be used more frequently, increasing the perceived value to the employee.

The Health Cash Plan market has become very competitive in recent years and in response to that, the range of benefits on offer has improved greatly.

Other names for a Business Health Cash Plan include: Group or Company Health Cash Plan.

What does a Business Health Cash Plan cover?

Musculoskeletal:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Chiropractic
 
Mental health:
 

 

Optical:

  • Prescriptions glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Sight tests
  • Prescription sunglasses & swimming goggles
 
 Additional Value:
 
  • Staff perks
  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Retail discounts
  • Exclusive deals on travel, entertainment, shopping and eating out

Primary Care:

  • Virtual GP & nurse services
  • Private prescriptions
  • Online health risk assessments

 

Chiropody/Podiatry:
 
  • Treatments
  • Assessments
  • Gait analysis
 
Other:
 
  • Consultations with a specialist
  • Diagnostic scans
  • Health screening
  • Hearing aids
  • Audiology tests
  • ECG’s
  • Lung function tests
  • Pathology fees
  • Biopsy fees
  • Speech therapy
  • NHS car parking costs
  • Cash back for stays in hospital
  • Cash payments upon birth or adoption of a child.

 

Is a Health Cash Plan worth it?

There are a number of key benefits to investing in a Business Health Cash Plan:

  • It’s a cost effective, bespoke solution that supports an employer’s duty of care
  • You can pick and choose benefits to suit your business
  • It helps to reward, retain and attract talented people by improving morale and motivation
  • It helps to reduce absenteeism whilst improving the general health and wellbeing of employees
  • It saves employees and their families money by reducing the amount of their disposable income is spent on health-related costs
 

How much does a Group Health Cash Plan cost?

Health Cash Plans are priced at a per member per week/month cost, and the amount is based on the cover level chosen.  Small business plans are offered at a set cost by insurers with larger business solutions requiring a more bespoke pricing method.

A small business Health Cash Plan can be purchased for as little as £4.33 per employee, per month. The average monthly cost for under 10 employees is £5.65 and for 10+ employees a plan will be in the region of £4.75 per person, per month.*

*Costs have been calculated based on numerous insurer business health cash plans in their under and over 10 employee categories.  Prices are indicative only and are subject to change.

“Engage Health Group have always delivered a fast and professional service when I have requested support when designing Employee Benefits Packages.”

- HR Consultancy, Chichester

How do businesses find the best deal on Business Health Cash Plans?

All the major health insurance providers offer a Cash Plan scheme. Like any other form of insurance, costs will vary and so will the features of each policy. This makes direct price comparison difficult. For example, a low-cost Business Health Cash Plan with limited coverage may not provide the level of health support which provides genuine value to staff and business alike.

Before investing in any type of health insurance scheme, it’s vital to understand business requirements and employee needs. There are a number of important considerations:

  • Available budget: this ultimately dictates what you can afford to offer.
 
  • Workforce demographics: this will signify the likely demand for routine health support. For example, an older workforce will likely benefit from specific types of intervention more so than a younger demographic.
 
  • Industry & occupation: this also affects the type of support demanded. For example, deskwork can cause back problems and eye strain; while more physical work will likely require a broader range of physical health support.
 
  • Competitors’ offering: all businesses are competing to attract the best talent. It’s important to understand what the competition is offering in order to match – or better – their employee benefits offering.
 

There are two ways of investing in a Cash Plan (or any other employee benefits scheme):

  1. Go direct to the insurance provider, or
  2. Employ an insurance broker/consultant
 

1. Direct to the insurance

In the first instance, you’ll be speaking directly to the sales advisor (though they may be called something different) at the insurance company. They are highly trained in providing an attractive sales spiel which makes their product stand out against the competition. However, ultimately their priority is to emphasise the quality of their product and close the deal – rather than provide an objective comparison to other providers.

2. Via an insurance broker

An insurance broker works on your behalf to find the best deal from a variety of insurance providers. However, some insurance brokers have preferred relationships with one or two insurance providers which means they are not truly independent. 

At Engage, we work across the whole market to uncover the best deals.

There are some key benefits to working with an independent health insurance broker:

  • Get a lower price than you would otherwise get: Insurance brokers like Engage know what a good deal looks like. The insurance provider understands this too! They also understand that we work on behalf of numerous clients, and therefore, the provider is keen to attract repeat business from us.
 
  • Learn from the experts: A health insurance broker should be a genuine expert in the field. For example, Engage Health Group has been in this business for more than 30 years and we have fully qualified health insurance experts who are committed to providing the best advice for your business.
 
  • Speed up the process: Researching the insurance market takes time. But the process can be massively reduced by talking to an expert consultant who can quickly help you understand your options. They then take on the responsibility of gathering quotes and presenting a selection of insurance packages designed for the specific needs of your company.
 
  • Help with implementation and beyond: An insurance broker like Engage will help implement the policy at your workforce and help you communicate your offering to the team to ensure optimal uptake. Engage will also help with the claims process and always be on-hand to offer advice and support as and when you need it, including at insurance renewal time.
 

To  be certain you’re buying the right Business Health Cash Plan scheme for your company, at the best available price, it’s strongly advised to employee the services of an expert insurance broker.

Call our team on +44 (0)1273 974419 for a FREE consultation.

Who are the main Group Health Cash Plan providers?

Business Health Cash Plans are not offered by every health insurance provider, but the following companies do offer the scheme:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I claim for pre-existing conditions under a Business Health Cash Plan?

Yes!  One of the great benefits of a Company Health Cash Plan is that employees can make claims immediately, even if the condition being claimed for is already known to them.  There is no medical to join and as the individual benefits are usually capped at a specific value, the insurer has some protection here.

How much can employees claim for each benefit?

Most Health Cash Plan providers offer between 4-6 cover levels for smaller businesses, with the claimable amounts increasing as the cover level does. These cover levels are set and there is little flexibility available, however, they are usually completely sufficient for the needs of smaller organisations.

 

For larger businesses (typically over 20 employees or £3,000 in annual premium), plans can be more bespoke and employers can tailor the benefits as they choose.  For example, one business might decide that they want six prescriptions covered per annum, instead of the standard two.

How are Company Cash Plans priced and will the premium go up each year?

Group Cash Plans for small businesses (under 20 employees) will typically be “community rated”.  This means that they are pooled with hundreds of similar sized businesses and receive a controlled and gradual increase each year, irrespective of how much each individual group has claimed. This approach offers premium certainty and protection to smaller businesses and gives reassurance that the cost won’t suddenly inflate above their budget.

 

For larger businesses, it is more likely that the pricing will be “claims rated”.  This means that at certain renewals, the insurer will assess how the individual group has performed (premium paid vs claims made) and can adjust the premium accordingly to ensure that it accurately reflects the risk posed.  Of course this offers less certainty to the employer but they can often secure two-year fixed deals to counter this somewhat.

How can I claim on a Company Health Cash Plan?

Cash Plans are one of the easiest insurances for making claims, and little is needed by way of claims assessment.

 

The claims process involves employees paying for their treatment themselves, and then claiming the cost back from the insurer.  The most important thing for employees is that they retain the receipt of their treatment as this must be submitted as part of the claim.

 

The method of claiming is different between insurers but the common routes are:

 

Insurer App

Taking a picture of the receipt using a smart phone and then submitting the claim electronically.

 

Insurer Website

Registering on the insurer website and submitting a claim via their online portal.

 

Paper forms

Completing a paper claim form and emailing/posting this to the insurer.

 

For those insurers who operate apps and online portals, employees are able to house their bank account details securely, meaning that payment can be made quickly, usually within 1-2 days.

Can employees add their partners and children to a Business Health Cash Plan?

Most corporate Health Cash Plans will include cover for dependant children for free; however, children would usually have to share their parents’ benefit pot. 

 

For example, sometimes an insurer will say that children can claim up to 50% of the employee benefit amount in each category.

 

Partners can also be included on cover at an additional cost to the employee, either via a separate direct debit or a deduction via payroll.  As partners are charged for in full, they have equal benefit levels to that of the employee.

Can employees upgrade their cover level?

Yes – it is quite common for an employer to fund a company Health Cash Plan at say, Level 2, and then give employees the opportunity to voluntarily upgrade to Level 3 or 4.  Again, this can be paid via a separate direct debit from the employee, or as a deduction via payroll.

 

Some employers might also choose to provide different cover levels based on seniority, grade or length of service.  The enhanced cover level could also include funding partners.

Can I use my Health Cash Plan overseas?

Many insurers do provide worldwide cover so that employees can access the benefits no matter where they happen to be. However, this would be for when employees are travelling, rather than for employees permanently based abroad. Also, some benefits might not be available, such as face-to-face counselling.

 

There are Health Cash Plan providers who have international solutions for employers with staff based in different global locations.  For a plan like this, expert advice should be taken to ensure the policy is compliant.

What kinds of support services are available with Group Critical Illness cover?

As insurers look to provide more value than ever, there is an increasing number of support services which employees can access for free. These can include:

  • Employee Assistance Programmes
  • Second opinion services
  • Cancer support
  • Support helplines for long-term health conditions such as heart, stroke, stress and anxiety
Group Health Cash Plan
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