October 13, 2020
This type of benefit makes your employees feel valued, appreciated and looked after, which helps to create an emotional bond between workers and the company, strengthening their motivation and commitment.
Taking a gamble on employees’ health in an organisation is no longer a trend. More and more companies, regardless of their size, are offering some kind of benefit or initiative focused on looking after their employees: healthy menus, company sports, mindfulness workshops, planning and time management sessions, etc. And it's no wonder, as this is now the main way of attracting and retaining talent, improving productivity and the working environment, standing out from the competition and consolidating a people-centred corporate culture.
However, although there are many ways of looking after your staff and improving their health, medical insurance is now one of the social benefits most frequently requested by employees1 and, at the same time, one of the benefits least frequently offered by companies.
In many cases, these figures conceal a biased view that taking out a health insurance policy is an expense, which is not the case. Any action designed to improve employee health is always an investment for the future, leading to many tangible and intangible benefits, both for large companies and for smaller-sized entities. In fact, according to the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion2, every euro invested in health promotion programmes yields a return on investment of up to 6 euros (£5,45) in cost reduction due to illness and up to 5 euros (£4,54) for reduction in absenteeism.
To follow, we will explain the main benefits of offering medical insurance through the company.
What are the main benefits for an SME of providing health insurance to its employees?
There are many advantages in offering employees medical insurance:
- Access to private healthcare. Having health insurance means treatment without long waiting lists, access to a wide range of medical services and cutting-edge treatments and the freedom to choose a specialist.
- Possibility of extension to family members. Depending on the insurance, employees can also benefit from extended cover for close relatives, making this option even more attractive.
- Promotes health prevention, reducing costs arising from future clinical complications. Health insurers not only offer rapid, efficient medical care that helps to prevent future health complications, but they are also hugely committed to prevention and the promotion of healthy habits, offering information and practical resources so that insured parties can learn to look after their wellbeing. This leads to a better quality of life, a lower risk of suffering from illnesses of all kinds and, in the long term, a reduction in the costs arising from clinical complications.
- Increase in productivity. When employees’ health improves, so does company productivity. A healthy employee is happier, more invested in their job and, above all, more efficient.
- A tool for pay negotiation. If provided as part of an employee’s flexible remuneration plan, it offers workers an incentive without an actual increase in wage costs. With this benefit, employees can increase their net salary at no additional cost to the company.
- Better cover than if taken out individually. It must also be remembered that health insurance for employees offers more competitive premiums and cover than if taken out individually.
- Additional telehealth services provide key added value during a pandemic. Thanks to telehealth services and other virtual healthcare tools offered free of charge by insurers to insured parties, employees can access multiple medical resources, such as online medical consultations, without leaving the house. In the current context, this type of service provides genuine added value to employees.
- Favourable taxation for both the company and the employee. Private healthcare cover can be an attractive benefit for your employees and your business.
However, in addition to the advantages mentioned, there are other extra benefits that impact directly on the reputation and image of your company brand, helping it to grow and position itself. Take note!
- Increase in commitment and motivation. This type of benefit makes your employees feel valued, useful and looked after, which helps to create an emotional bond between workers and the company, strengthening their motivation and commitment.
- Improves corporate reputation and brand image. A company that looks after its employees is recognised as a socially committed, advanced company, resulting in greater confidence from customers and excellent positioning as an employer brand.
- Key factor in attracting and retaining talent. Health-related social benefits are one of the pre-requisites that employees most value when deciding whether to stay in a company or choosing which company to work in3, which is why it is so important to offer benefits like medical insurance.
- Promoting work-life balance. With health insurance, you can choose the doctor, day and time of the consultation, making it easier to balance professional life with healthcare and personal life.
Employees are a company's main asset and are crucial to the genuine success of a growing SME. It is therefore vitally important that you offer them a secure, attractive place to work that will help them develop, both personally and professionally, and that you look after their health. We are going through a crucial period, in which employees need more support than ever before. Why not offer them the security of having their health under control?
Cigna designs health insurance solutions that will help improve employee wellness and productivity while helping you control your costs. For more information on how a Cigna health insurance plan can help you improve employee health and wellbeing, please contact our Commercial Business Centre on 01475 788779 or visit our website. To get a quote, please click here.
1 360º Wellbeing Survey 2017. Cigna. Link
2 Healthy Work - Healthy Lifestyle - Healthy Business. European Network for Workplace Health Promotion. Link
3360º Wellbeing Survey 2018. Cigna. Link