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Which small business health insurance option is right for you?

Which Small Business Health Insurance Option Is Right For You?

Our brokers are often asked what kind of small business health insurance options exist. Some business owners worry whether their company will even qualify when so many insurers seem to target their policies towards corporate businesses.

But worry not, we’re usually able to find a policy that suits – we’ve even been able to source a policy for a single limited company director.

In this article, we look at the different options currently available for small businesses seeking health insurance for their employees.

Need FREE one-to-one advice on how to set up a health insurance scheme for your business? Contact our award-winning brokers on 01273 222805 or click on the bottom right chat box.

Small Business Health Insurance: options and add-ons

Company Health Insurance provides private health cover to your employees, giving them access to treatments in private hospitals under selected terms in your plan. For this benefit, the inclusions and exclusions can vary massively, but it is predominantly used for acute conditions (those which are curable or respond well to treatment) rather than chronic conditions (those which are unlikely to improve).

Business Health Insurance is popular with staff, ensuring they get quicker access to treatments for a wide range of conditions, plus GP access, consultations and diagnostics. It provides that perfect combination of preventative and reactive care.

Standard core cover usually includes:

  • In-patient treatment (requiring an overnight stay)
  • Out-patient treatment (in and out in the same day)
  • Cancer cover
  • Physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic treatment
  • Mental health support options
  • Consultations with specialists
  • Diagnostic tests (blood tests, X-rays, scans)
  • Medications

Also, most Business Health plans include additional options and extra perks to raise the value of your plan. Examples of these could be:

  • Virtual GP
  • Second medical opinion
  • Fast track appointments
  • Employee Assistance Programmes
  • Health Screening
  • NHS Cash Benefit
  • Dental / Optical
  • Gym membership discounts

As you can imagine, what you choose to include and exclude can affect the premium, AKA the upfront cost of the insurance.

Have you got a list of questions which you REALLY want answered? Call one of the friendly experts at Hooray for FREE and we guarantee no arm-twisting, or pressure-selling; just honest straightforward advice. Call the team on 01273 222805 or write to us at [email protected].

5 clever alternatives to health insurance

If health insurance turns out to be just too costly, there are other options to consider:

  • Health Cash Plan: This is a form of health insurance which provides coverage for everyday health needs rather than serious health conditions. It includes things like: physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture, dental care, eyecare, health checks/scans, prescriptions, hearing aids and more. Read our Business Health Cash Plan guide.
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP): Often packaged within a health insurance scheme, they can also be purchased separately. It provides emotional and mental health support through a combination of online tools and one-to-one counselling services. Read our guide to EAPs.
  • Group Income Protection: Provides sick pay to employees above and beyond the statutory requirement BUT also provides practical support to help them get better and make a quicker return to work. Read our guide to Group Income Protection.
  • Critical Illness Cover: Designed for employees suffering from a critical illness – giving them financial support to deal with the inevitable loss of income. It usually comes with an EAP too, so they can get support with the emotional fall out from such a diagnosis. Read all about Critical Illness Cover.
  • Dental care/optical coverage: These usually come with a Cash Plan and private health scheme, but can also be purchased separately.


5 insurers who offer small business health insurance

Here are five insurers that we’ve personally worked with on behalf of small business clients. Each one has its unique selling points but working out which is best ultimately depends on a company’s unique circumstances – and how it matches with the terms of a particular policy.

#1 Bupa

One of the best known providers in the UK, Bupa’s small business health insurance plan offers four tiers of coverage adapted to different budgets. Their small business plans are available for organisations with a maximum of 250 employees and a few of their stand-out features, alongside offering the standard core cover, includes:

  • Access up to 600 hospitals in the Bupa network
  • 24/7 access to a qualified nurse (Bupa Anytime Healthline)
  • Access to the Bupa Digital GP app provided by Babylon for unlimited GP appointments around the clock as well as a symptom checker
  • Extensive mental health cover options

#2 AXA Health

AXA is a multinational insurance company based in France with networks on a global level. AXA’s Small Business Health Insurance options cover between 1 and 249 employees. As well as including standard cover, they also offer a wide range of extra inclusions:

  • 24/7 online GP service (AXA Doctor at Hand / Doctor Care Anywhere)
  • Fast-track services for specialists
  • Health at Hand service
  • Physiotherapy consultations (Working Body service to speak with an expert online/via the phone)
  • Up to 40% off monthly Nuffield Health, Fitness and Wellbeing centre membership, and Hussle Monthly+ pass fees
  • Cancer care and heart conditions

#3 Aviva

Aviva is a health insurance provider with headquarters in the UK offering a wide range of support options from flexible healthcare to ongoing support. Aviva adapts to suit any small business with packages for 1 to 99 employees and 100 to 249 employees, its small business health insurance options include:

  • Standard core cover
  • Expert Select (giving employees a range of specialists and hospitals)
  • Enhanced cancer cover (support at each stage of treatment)
  • Mental health pathways (including end-to-end services, clinical expertise guidance and a range of support options to choose from)
  • BacktoBetter (providing specialist support for musculoskeletal conditions)

#4 Vitality

Another well known London-based UK health insurance company, Vitality offers up a huge array of services for their business health clients. And they don’t skimp when it comes to offering the best small business health insurance options! Some of their offerings for businesses with 1-249 employees includes:

  • Up to £100 per year for private prescriptions / minor tests
  • Virtual GP app
  • Up to 8 sessions of therapy / CBT
  • Better Health scheme (rewards for healthy habits encouraging staff to be healthier, happier, and more productive)
  • Better Care (avoid long waiting lists / improve faster recoveries)
  • Better Rewards (no claims with all-year-round rewards/discounts from top brands)
  • NHS Cash benefit (£250 per night up to £2000 per plan year / £125 per day up to £500 per plan year)
  • Childbirth / adoption cash benefits (£100 per child)
  • Pregnancy complications cover
  • Weight loss surgery (member contribute 25%)
  • Corrective surgeries (member contribute 25%)

#5 Freedom Health Insurance

Freedom Health Insurance are a specialist health insurance company based in the UK, offering cover for groups of all sizes with a wide range of underwriting options to be tailored to fit with unique business budgets and needs. Freedom offers the option of a basic plan with all the essential benefits, or building a comprehensive package with a range of optional features for small businesses:

  • Accommodation in private hospital rooms
  • Out-patient treatments inc. specialist fees, diagnostic tests, physiotherapy
  • NHS Cash benefit (compensation up to £100 per day / £200 per night)
  • Wide choice of hospital / consultant
  • Comprehensive cancer cover

Which is better Bupa or AXA? How good is Aviva health insurance? Is Vitality the one for me? There is no one answer to these questions, but there is a right answer for you…

Are you ready to navigate the small business health insurance market?

Working your way through the world of employee benefits and health insurance is no easy task, but understanding who the top insurers are and how health insurance can be adapted to fit with any small business is a great start.

However, getting some extra help from an independent health insurance and benefits broker when setting up a plan can make all the difference. That’s where our team at Hooray can help!

We offer FREE advice to start-ups and SMEs who are either looking to launch their employee benefits or are reviewing existing schemes. Rather than spending time reading the small print of insurance policies, you can simply give us a call and fire any questions our way. We help you get things started, taking the time to understand your business and what you’re looking for.

Contact us at [email protected] or call 01273 222805 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.


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