Runnymede Borough Council switched from providing private medical insurance (PMI) to staff who had been with the organisation three years, to a healthcare cash plan for 500 employees after finding the increasing cost of PMI too much to handle.
The council now pays for a cash plan for all employees once they have reached three years’ service, at a cost of £15 a month per employee.
David Thomas, personnel manager, says: “The idea was to provide a cost-effective way of helping staff to beat the costs of medical expenses. It [is] also used as part of our recruitment package.” He adds that many employees choose to pay for the benefit, provided by HSA, until they become eligible for employer funding. Staff can also top up the scheme to enhance the level of cover or to extend it to their families.
“We believe access to affordable healthcare is of the utmost importance when it comes to supporting the wellbeing of employees. All local councils are having to look at their finances as money is tight,” adds Thomas.
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