According to an independent study released by TNS, a global research consultancy, health cash plans have become the most sought after and popular employee benefit. It was revealed that over a third of full time employees listed cash plans within their top three lists of employee benefits. Other benefits that were featured heavily included contributory pension schemes, life insurance and standard private medical insurance.
The fact that health cash plans featured so heavily came as a surprise to the researchers due to their low cost nature when compared to other benefits often offered by employers. The popularity shown for the option shows however, that offering health cash plans as an employee benefit, could be a highly valuable and feasible option for employers to consider.
Opting for the health cash plan option as an employer makes a lot of sense – especially for businesses seeking to gain competitive benefits packages during these tougher economic times. This period has also resulted in a number of organisations considering the benefits they offer and reconsidering how to get the most value from their investments.
According to the UK health cover report 2012, health cash plans have been increasing in popularity with employers over the last six years. It shows that a healthcare option that provides employees access to health cover for a monthly cash premium will clearly be an attractive idea to employers looking to cut down on healthcare costs.
Employers are also using health cash plans as a way to tackle issues that could potentially lead to staff absence in the future such as musculoskeletal issues and stress concerns. Support for these concerns come in the form of employee assistance programmes, health hotlines and more hands on physiotherapy options. These areas are some of the biggest concerns for employers looking to minimise the effect health problems have on business productivity and performance.
Even with the solid growth of employers using health cash plans as part of employee benefits, uptake is said to continue rising. It is believed that this continual growth will develop through small and medium sized enterprises opting for the value for money approach to employee healthcare. It is also believed that the number of claims for treatments to minimise sickness absence will also rise in 2013. This is thought to be a result of employees gaining a better of understanding of what can and can’t be treated through healthcare options – this includes ‘complementary therapies’ such as physiotherapy allowing people to ease their joint and back pains rather than just living with it.
Gareth writes on a number of health topics, including business healthcare on behalf of AXA PPP healthcare who offer health cash plan options for both individuals and businesses