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Group private medical schemes have evolved dramatically in recent times. For many years they were only available to the most senior of staff and basically provided an employee access to in-patient treatment or out-patient treatment at a hospital and time convenient to themselves. However, they are now the second most requested benefit after a pension that staff look for and can be used to retain highly valued employees or recruit new staff.

There has been an increasing trend towards encouraging employees to engage with looking after their own health and a number of providers now incorporate various forms of loyalty reward programmes. These can include discounted holidays, advice on food and nutrition, medical counselling and even subsidised gym membership and health assessments. With legislation increasingly requiring employers to demonstrate a duty of care to their employees, looking after the health and well-being of staff has never been more important and modern schemes can certainly assist in this regard as well as encouraging a healthy and happy workforce where absence can be kept to a minimum.

There is a wide variety of schemes available with costings and benefits being relevant to businesses with a handful of employees through to many hundreds.

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These would normally include both inpatient and outpatient treatment with many of the costs such as accommodation, surgeons and anaesthetists’ fees as well as radiotherapy and scans being fully reimbursed. There is often a cash benefit payable to members who, perhaps through emergency or other needs, have immediate treatment in an NHS hospital. Group private medical schemes can also be extended to provide staff with both dental cover and travel insurance.

Benefits for employers:

  • Improved health and wellbeing of staff
  • Reduce sickness absence
  • Being seen as a supportive employer
  • Improved staff retention
  • Medical treatment at a time to suit a business’ needs.

Benefits for Employees:

  • Early access to medical specialists
  • Treatment at a convenient location
  • A feeling of being valued
  • Easy access to medical advice
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