Private Medical Insurance pays for your employees to have medical treatment in private hospitals and facilities. Offering private healthcare lets your staff bypass potentially long NHS waiting lists and receive treatment when they need it most. This can help them to get back on their feet and return to work quicker.
- Access care the NHS may not be able to provide due to cost, such as advanced cancer drugs / treatment.
- Provide employees with appointments to suit them, usually with a choice of consultants, specialists and facilities.
As far as an employee benefit goes business health insurance is the most sought-after paid benefit among workers and therefore a very popular policy.
What Does Company Health Insurance Cover?
It is designed to cover the cost of medical care to help speed up the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of an acute medical condition which might include:
- Scans and tests
- Surgical procedures
- Exclusive drugs
- Alternative therapies
- Hospital stays.
In addition to having access to the latest medical treatments and medications some of the other perks you can expect from your business private health insurance plan include:
- Private room
- Flexible visiting hours
- Shorter waiting times for treatment
- Flexible appointment times that can be tailored to suit your schedule
- Choice of consultants and specialists related to your medical issue.
It is important to note that company private medical insurance is primarily designed to cover acute conditions which are defined as conditions that can be reversed with medical treatment.
An example of an acute condition would be the need for a hip replacement, which can be solved by replacing the joint. The NHS will still be required for treating and maintaining chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
The Difference Between Inpatient & Outpatient Treatment
All medical care is divided into:
- Inpatient / day-patient treatment
All policies cover this in full. Inpatient care is any procedure needing at least one overnight stay in a hospital bed. Day-patient treatment meanwhile requires a hospital bed but just for the day, for example after minor surgery.
- Outpatient treatment
An optional extra, outpatient care includes any treatment where no hospital bed is necessary. This includes diagnostic tests, scans, therapies and consultations.
While inpatient treatment tends to be covered in full you will need to decide upon the level of outpatient cover you wish to provide. You have three options:
- No outpatient cover (meaning staff have to use the NHS for diagnostic tests and scans etc.)
- Limited outpatient cover (a mid-range option which caps outpatient care, say at £1,000 per employee per policy year)
- Full outpatient cover (foots the bill for all outpatient treatment staff may need).
The more outpatient cover you choose to provide the more comprehensive your business private healthcare and the less your employees need to rely on the NHS.
What About Cancer Cover?
All of the leading UK business health insurance companies now have pledges in place to cover cancer in full.
As a result of this your employees will have access to cutting-edge cancer treatment through their business health insurance should they ever need it. This often includes drugs and procedures that don’t tend to be available on the NHS because the cost is prohibitive.
Other benefits of private cancer care can include:
- Choice of having chemotherapy at home rather than in a clinical setting
- Cover for the cost of wigs and prostheses that are required as a result of cancer treatment / surgery
- Money to pay for scalp cooling, to reduce hair loss from chemotherapy
- Donations to a hospice should you need to stay in one to receive palliative care
- Access to home nursing for a certain number of days, where a dedicated private nurse will come to your home to check up on you during your treatment.
Virtual GP & Other Support Services
Most business healthcare policies now come with workplace wellbeing benefits including a digital GP service. These offer staff appointments with a GP, usually 24 / 7, from the comfort of their own home.
Typically via a smartphone app, these video calls with a remote GP mean covered employees no longer need to wait for an NHS GP appointment. They also can have an appointment outside office hours, so they don’t need to miss work.
Remote GP services can also make referrals for further private healthcare treatment if necessary.
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY
Read why our client Trailmix
, a rapidly expanding mobile gaming start-up chose to set up a small business health insurance scheme. In addition to the core cover their employees are really benefiting from the virtual GP service.
In addition to a Virtual GP appointments other workplace wellbeing benefits you can expect include:
- Counselling / mental health helpline
- Prescription service
- High street discounts
What Is Not Covered?
Pre-existing conditions are not always covered under a company health insurance policy however this will largely depend on how your group policy is underwritten.
Depending on the cover levels you choose for your policy, pre-existing acute conditions will either be completely excluded, temporarily excluded, or covered regardless.
Some of the other most common exclusions are:
- Emergency care
- Kidney dialysis
- Fertility treatment
- Standard pregnancy and childbirth (may be covered for complications)
- Treatment or rehabilitation for alcoholism / substance abuse
- Cosmetic surgery that is not medically required.