Saturday, January 7, 2012

Protecting Your Employees' Health: A Must-Know Guide to Business Medical Insurance

Office space, check. Computers, check. Stationery, check. When you start up a business, sometimes there can be so many things to think about that important aspects can get overlooked. Like business medical insurance for example.
Business medical insurance, or group health insurance can help to protect your employees in the event of injury or illness. From an employer's point of view, the benefits of keeping your employees healthy are clear. The average annual sickness costs equate to £692 per employee which is undoubtedly a significant hit to businesses especially SMEs.
Many companies opt for business healthcare plans in order to counteract costs to the business incurred by staff absences due to sickness. It can also help to eliminate the issue of NHS waiting lists. If you are considering insuring your business' health, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons.
The advantages:
  • It can work as an appealing employee benefit. Many other businesses offer medical insurance as part of their benefits package therefore it can help to boost staff morale and potentially improve staff retention.

  • Employees often have the option to choose the specialist that treats them and where they receive their treatment, with hospital choices often spreading nationwide which can enhance the convenience factor.

  • The treatments are often carried out in the ambient surroundings with private rooms, internet access, a television and a high standard of service throughout.

  • A good medical insurance package for your employees can help to reduce absenteeism due to sickness as health issues are often treated faster than they would be on the NHS.

  • Most providers offer a range of different packages and additional options for example, you could opt for alternative therapies or psychiatric care as a supplementary offering or you could make savings by looking at 'six week wait options' - packages that will offer treatments privately if the NHS waiting time is longer than 6 weeks.

  • You can also choose 'excess' options where your employee pays a contribution per claim or per year in order to reduce costs and lessen the risk of idle claims being made.
The disadvantages:
  • Employees may not be covered for all treatments or medical issues therefore it is important to fully review the policies before agreement and also to reiterate this to employees.

  • Essentially with medical insurance, you get what you pay for. Therefore typically the higher level of package you choose, the better covered you will be. With some of the cheaper packages, you may find that you are only covered for a limited number of health issues.

  • It can be costly. Some medical insurance packages are very costly, others are more reasonable. It is important that you review and compare the market effectively in order to find the best option to suit your business' needs.

  • There are hundreds of different packages on the market from hundreds of different providers. It could prove beneficial to seek independent financial advice to assist you in making the right choice.
How to obtain
As with buying any product, you will want purchase the best option for your circumstances which provides the greatest value for money. With ample offerings on the market from many different private medical insurance providers, finding the best option can prove challenging. Seeking advice from a firm of medical insurance brokers could offer you the required information and provide you with a quote for your needs.

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