Employee Benefits Live: British Airways consolidates healthcare schemes into self-funded plan

British Airways (BA) introduced a self-funded health plan in order to create a tailored healthcare benefit for its employees.†

Speaking on day two of Employee Benefits Live, Janine Sparks, reward consultant at BA, explained that, following a strategic review, the airline chose to consolidate its previous disparate healthcare schemes into a self-funded health plan.

Sparks said: “A key element of choosing the plan was that we wanted engagement with BA. It is BA spending its own money on its employees’ healthcare.”

Sparks said it is important for organisations to consider the reasons behind implementing a self-funded plan: “Our scheme is designed to complement the NHS, not replace it,” she added. “It is designed to get people back to work quickly.”

One of the benefits that BA found in implementing a self-funded plan was the ownership and control it has. Sparks said: “It is easy to flex the rules to reflect our workforce and the wellbeing agenda in our organisation.”

BA has also made some changes to the plan as a result of its claims data: If cancer care is available in an employees’ local area, BA points them to NHS services; a clinical care manager is available throughout an employee’s treatment; and, if treatment reaches a stage when the NHS refuses to pay for expensive drugs, the BA plan will fund the treatment.

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