Benefits of private medical insurance (PMI) – unaware or unadvised?

Are companies failing to get the most out of their private medical insurance (PMI) policy?
There are many reasons why a company may offer its staff cover through a PMI policy. These could include attracting the right staff, retaining staff, expectations of their industry or the request of a parent company but the primary reason must be providing protection for staff (and their families in some cases) against needing to solely rely on the NHS and to be able to access treatment at a convenient time, in a convenient place and normally more quickly. PMI addresses this need, however, only about 25% of members actually need to use their policy to claim each year.

So, what about the other 75%?
There are actually a lot of additional features within most PMI policies that offer direct benefits to all members, not just those needing to claim. Whilst it varies by plan some of the features include;

  • Employee Assistance Programmes offering support on a range of issues including financial concerns and stress
  • Discounted shopping portal and reward programmes
  • Health calculators and on line assessments to identify key health risks and provide coaching or guidance on how to reduce those risks
  • 24/7 medical support helplines for reassurance and guidance on a range of matters
  • Access to health & wellbeing information resources
  • Discounted health screening and other insurances

However, could you say that you and your colleagues are aware of all these benefits?

Why have PMI policies developed to offer these additional benefits?

  • Helping companies to potentially reduce illness and claims by providing support for prevention in the first place. Move the focus from reactive to proactive support of health & wellbeing
  • Insurers genuinely want to help people to get healthier by better understanding their health risks and improving their wellbeing
  • A way for everyone to see a benefit to being in the company PMI scheme
  • To encourage more usage of their online facilities as most of these features are delivered by the web or through an app

This is a constant topic of debate in HR and employee benefit magazines. A fitter, healthier and more engaged workforce will mean better productivity and less staff turnover. It is always hard to put a figure to this but it has to be a good result for the company and the staff.

How can a company therefore ensure they are getting the most out of their PMI cover?

Communication, communication ,communication! If members of the PMI plan are not aware or advised of the full features available then engagement will be low and the perceived and achieved value of this important benefit will not be gained.

Improving the company’s benefit communication programme will help ensure the company gets the best return on their employee benefit package they offer and the perception of the package being offered should improve in conjunction with it.

Sign up to our newsletters

Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

So, if you have a private medical insurance policy whether it is personally or via a company, it is worth looking deeper into your membership information to see what you have access to – even if you aren’t ill and don’t need to claim.

For the full original article and other similar posts, please visit the Jelf Group blog.