What is Group Private Medical Insurance?
Whilst there is no denying that the NHS is a wonderful thing, due to over-use many treatments can take time to organise and have carried out, which can put huge financial strain on someone if they are off work until they have their required treatment.
One way that you can look to counteract this is by adding preventative measures to support your staff during absence. Business Health Insurance is one of the solutions available to you.
Company Medical Insurance plans are available for the treatment of acute conditions, which are conditions that are curable and respond well to treatment.
Why do I need Group Private Medical Insurance?
If we consider the the main reason to implement this benefit is that it can help to ensure that your staff receive the quickest and best care possible at a time when they need it most.
Not only will this limit the time that they are in pain or discomfort, but it will also ensure that they are back to work as soon as they can.
Your employees are cared for, but of course this has the added benefit that you won’t lose too much time due to staff absences.
It is vital as a business owner, you ensure your company is providing an enhanced employee benefit package in comparison to your competitors, this will ensure that you attract and retain the best talent.
What does Business Health Insurance Cover?
Hooray Health & Protection review the full market when assisting with your business health insurance policy so there are numerous features provided by different insurers. We have listed a few of them below:
- Inpatient Treatment
- Outpatient Treatment
- Cancer Cover
- Mental Health
How much will it cost?
First, we need to consider the cost to your business if group health insurance is in place. As all small business owners are aware, any long-term absence is going to have a significant impact to your business.
In the 2016 absence management survey report, it was identified that sickness absence costs businesses an average of £522 per year for each employee.
Before considering the premium cost of having private medical insurance, it is always worth sitting down and reviewing the pricing impact of not having the policy in place.
Actual premiums for the policy will vary depending on several factors such as:
What the companies industry is, where the employees are based, average age of your workforce, how much benefit you choose, optional extras, underwriting, whether medical history is being disregarded or taken into account, if psychiatrist conditions are being included, amongst a number of other factors.
As with all insurances, it isn’t one size fits all and the policy will be tailored to your company’s need. It may be that you are only looking to cover senior employees or staff who have met a minimum service requirement. It is these additional factors that can also significantly impact the price quoted.
In a recent case study for a London based firm in the creative industry, with 5 members of staff between the ages of 25-50 the premium per employee was between £805 and £1332.
Currently for the policies we hold across our two businesses, the average premium per employee is £400-£700.
If you are currently shopping around for a new scheme, looking to move broker, or simply wanting to benchmark your existing arrangement, then we suggest contacting a specialist broker instead of going to an insurer direct, or equally as unsound; using a general or non-specific insurance broker or financial adviser.
We can review the full market for you to ensure you’re getting the policy that’s right for your company. The premium will remain the same whether using an employee benefits broker or not.
Can SMEs take out Small Business Health Insurance?
Small Business Health Insurance is available for small and micro businesses via Hooray Health & Protection. We have solutions for clients that are one-man bands, SMEs and even large multinational corporations.
Small Business Health Insurance is our bread and butter however and we have a number of small scheme deals in place with insurers to help grow the small and micro business health insurance market.
What Medical Underwriting is there on Company Health Insurance?
When it comes to medical underwriting for Company Health Insurance there isn’t a one size fits all approach like with other insurances and we would establish the right route for you in a fact find.
Below we have listed the three types of underwriting processes available for Company Health Insurance policies.
Moratorium: Is a paperless form of underwriting which is the quickest way to start a policy as it requires no medical declaration.
It requires new joiners to confirm “any treatment/medical conditions they have had in the five years before joining will not be covered immediately on the scheme. However, if the member goes two years into the Company Health Insurance policy without any treatment or symptoms of those conditions, they will become covered once again”.
Full Medical Underwriting: Being fully medically underwritten on a Business Health Insurance policy means that you disclose your entire medical history to the insurer at outset via a medial questionnaire and potential GP report. This enables them to consider your complete health history and decide whether any specific exclusions would apply.
The insurer will then notify you of any exclusions which will apply to the policy. This means you will know exactly what is and isn’t covered from day one and can discontinue cover at this stage should any exclusions be applied you disagree with.
Medical History Disregarded: Is the most desired form of underwriting as insurers will not ask for any medical history from anyone in the business and all pre-existing conditions are accepted.
Unfortunately, this is only available for larger businesses (usually 15 employees minimum) and comes with a significantly increased premium.
Is Group Private Medical Insurance Taxable?
We often see many business health insurance policies mis-sold due to businesses being mis-advised on tax matters by financial advisers claiming to be tax experts.
Under current tax rules from HMRC, we can see that Business Health Insurance is usually considered to be an allowable business expense. When it comes to doing your books at the end of the year, your company should receive tax relief on the premiums.
What most brokers overlook is the tax implications for employees which is a dangerous mistake to make because the insurance paid by the employer is considered a P11d taxable benefit in kind by HMRC.
Employers will have to declare to HMRC any benefits which have been given to employees and complete a P11d form.
Employees need to be made aware that they are liable for the tax on this benefit and it will be deducted from their tax-free allowance.
When we have taken over existing schemes from other brokers, we regularly find employees have not been made aware of this when the benefit plan was implemented.
Hooray Health & Protection can help advise and signpost communications to ensure employees are aware of this liability, so that your business is fully compliant.
We must stress, Hooray are health and protection specialists with an understanding of tax matters which we have shared to help grow the industry and educate Clients. We suggest our clients consultant with an accountant or tax specialist if they require advice.
How can I arrange a Business Health Insurance Policy?
Hooray Health & Protection provide a free comparison service if you’re looking to arrange a new business health insurance policy and don’t charge any fees as are paid by the insurers.
Firstly, we would complete a business fact find to understand your business profile and establish your demands and needs as every business is unique and this isn’t a one size fits all product.
Once we understand your requirements and what the scheme set up looks like we would then complete a full market review, reporting back a comparison of the insurers pricing, service scores and claims pay-out rating.
Once you’ve had a chance to read our report and request any alternative variations, we would book in a call to discuss our findings and establish if you would like to proceed.
Are there added value services?
Usually staff medical insurance policies have the most added value services to choose from out of all the employee benefits, but the majority do come at an additional cost.
Business health insurance perks that are available with most insurers include:
- Employee Assistance Programmes
- Virtual GP
- Second Medical Opinion
- Fast track appointments
- Health screening
- Discounted gym membership
When arranging your group medical insurance, make sure you disclose with your broker what other employee benefit insurances you have in place.
If your company has group income protection or group life insurance, then you need to consider free added value service’s that may be including in these before paying again with private medical insurance.
Lets face it, the last thing you want, is to be paying for a service that is free and included with another benefit you have in place.
Which added value services that we recommend will be dependent on your companies’ profile, which we will review for you and tailor to those needs.
If considering business health insurance, then ensure you speak to an expert instead of going to an insurer direct as they can review the whole market for you, without impacting the cost you’re already paying.
Does Company Health Insurance exclude anything?
As with all insurance policies there are exclusions you need to remember when taking out a Company Health Insurance policy. We have listed some below:
Chronic: Chronic conditions are long term and cannot be cured, so the treatment of these conditions is not covered by health insurance.
Pre-existing Conditions: Unless you’re joining a medical history disregarded policy, any pre existing health conditions will be excluded for an agreed amount of time or potentially forever.
Non-participating Hospitals: When you take out a new policy the insurer will provide a list of hospital you can receive treatment. If you go to a hospital not covered by that scheme you will not be able to reclaim the fees.
Can I continue my Corporate Health Insurance after leaving my job?
If you have been covered by your employer on a Corporate Health Insurance policy, there is the possibility to move onto a personal plan without any health declaration or medical underwriting.
Most insurers give you up to 30 days from leaving your current business health insurance policy, but we always advise doing this during your notice period to ensure there is no gap in cover.
Why choose Hooray Health and Protection?
Hooray Health & Protection are a broker specialising in the SME employee benefit marketplace and as such know which insurers will be the best fit for your company.
We understand each business is unique and will take an in-depth fact find to understand what your business requirements are and only recommend what’s right for you.
Both our non-executive directors have held senior roles for two of the leading health insurance providers and have leveraged their knowledge to ensure the best proposition for our Clients.