Policy Options for Corporate Private Health Insurance
Corporate Health Insurance is one of the more complicated Employee Benefits in that there are a lot of options you can add to or subtract from the policy to make it fit your needs and budget.
It can be hard to know which benefits are worthwhile and which are more of a ‘nice to have’, listed below are the most common options you have to choose from.
Level of Outpatient Cover
As mentioned, the addition of outpatient cover is one of the biggest options you’ll face when setting up your corporate medical plan. It’s recommended that you add at least some level of outpatient cover to your policy – even if it’s only basic/limited cover – as this will significantly speed up the diagnosis of any health problems your employees might be facing.
Basic policies tend to include little to no outpatient cover. A mid-range policy, meanwhile, will typically cap outpatient cover at a certain monetary level such as £1,000 per policy year. This can be a good compromise between keeping costs down but still providing your employees with access to high-quality outpatient treatment when they need it most.
Setting an excess on the policy can help reduce your policy’s premiums by requiring individual employees to pay an initial amount towards their care. This is typically a nominal sum compared to the thousands of pounds treatment can cost, say around £100, but can significantly reduce the cost of cover.
Psychiatric cover is an additional option you can bolt on to most Corporate Health Plans. It can provide inpatient and outpatient treatment for mental illnesses, with a cap on the maximum number of sessions/days of treatment available per year.
It’s common to want to add mental health cover to a policy given the rise in instances of workplace stress and an employer push to improve mental health among workers.
However, mental health conditions are among the most expensive to treat, which means this is one of the most expensive additional policy options.
6 Week NHS Wait
Another way to cut your premiums is to add the ‘6 week NHS wait’ option onto your policy. This again can reduce premiums significantly, this time because your workers will only be able to use their private healthcare if the NHS wait for treatment for their condition exceeds 6 weeks.
Adding Family Members
Some employers allow you to add spouses and dependent children to the corporate health scheme. This provides access to the same level of healthcare for workers’ families as the workers are entitled to themselves.
Health Insurance providers usually offer at least two ‘tiers’ of facilities your employees can receive treatment in. There’s typically a standard tier consisting of mid-range private health facilities and an ‘upper’ tier, which encompasses more prestigious facilities and potentially certain hospitals in Central London. (Note that some insurers separate the London hospitals out into their own tier, so check this before you take out a policy or ask a Drewberry expert about it.)
If you opt not to include the upper tier of hospitals or those in Central London, you can save on your premiums because treatment in these ‘premier’ facilities can be significantly more expensive.
Routine Dental & Optical Cover
While Private Medical Insurance covers procedures such as cataract surgery and oral surgery, everyday optical and dental treatment, such as checkups, fillings and glasses, don’t tend to be covered as standard. However, as an optional extra you may be able to include coverage for these on your policy to help pay for such everyday health expenses.
Adding a Health Cash Plan
Some employers choose to implement a Health Cash Plan alongside their Private Medical Insurance. This offers cash towards certain routine health expenses, such as dental and optical treatment. It can also be used to cover any excess you implement on the plan.
The employee can claim back the cash they’ve paid upfront as an excess from the Health Cash Plan. Despite having two policies, this often works out cheaper than having just Group Health Insurance with no excess.