Increasing pressures on the NHS means the provision of employer funded Private Medical Insurance (PMI), is a welcome addition to any employee’s package – particularly for non-urgent medical conditions. Here Chris Cunnington, of Nottingham’s independent insurance broker Russell Scanlan, discusses how to make the most of PMI.
PMI helps with attracting and retaining key staff and managing sickness absence, yet for many employees is probably perceived as a ‘nice to have’ benefit – for if the worst happens. However, there are additional benefits available from PMI providers that are often overlooked.
There is a growing trend and awareness in the world of employee benefits to encourage employees to make better living/lifestyle choices. The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ comes to mind and it is in this context that many PMI schemes provide what may be called ‘wellness’ benefits to members that may well help and encourage these lifestyle choices.
These are some of the typical ‘free’ or ‘add on’ benefits that members would be well advised to be aware of and take advantage of: 24/7 web based and information lines providing confidential help and information from qualified staff, online health assessments, cash benefits (to help with incidental costs if treatment is received in the NHS), discounts on health screening, discounts on gym membership (and other retail outlets) and direct access to online physiotherapy (without the need for GP referral).
Many employees will probably drop their PMI ‘membership pack’ into a draw unopened with the view that it’s there if they need it – but they could missing out on all of these ‘wellness’ and money-saving benefits – and in turn could be off work more regularly, impacting on their employer.
A healthy and happy workforce will be more productive and therefore it makes sense that the ‘wellness’ benefits of PMI are promoted. It is important that the employer, particularly HR personnel, know what these additional benefits are and how to access them – and to be able to signpost an employee in the right direction. And of course, if the issue turns out to be more serious, the core PMI benefits come into their own.
If you or your business would like further advice about PMI or how to maximise your policy’s benefits, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of Russell Scanlan’s healthcare team.