In a major development for the health insurance market, Bupa has today launched an innovative range of health and wellbeing solutions for businesses of all sizes, enabling companies to bring the benefits of healthcare to more of their employees.Bupa Business Health Solutionsis a complete suite of products which allows companies to choose a level of cover for every level of employee.
Providing healthcare as a staff benefit can boost productivity in a business, raise employee engagement and attract talent. It remains the most valued benefit among employees – in fact research has shown that people would sacrifice a small salary increase for healthcare. However, most businesses only offer it to senior staff – research released today by Bupa found that out of the companies that offer health insurance to their staff, only three in five (59 per cent) of them make it available to all employees.
Tony Wood, sales and marketing director, Bupa Health and Wellbeing, said: Healthcare isn’t just for managers and directors. Everyone experiences health problems, and if one person isn’t performing at their best, even the most junior person, it can have a significant impact on the productivity of the whole business. By extending healthcare benefits to the wider workforce you can improve the performance of the business as a whole.
We know that many clients would like to offer healthcare to more of their employees, but until now their options have been limited. The one-size-fits-all approach no longer works, as employers have different concerns with each part of their workforce. Bupa Business Health Solutions gives employers flexibility to address all of these concerns. Just as our occupational health, on-site health services and Health Assessments fulfil a range of needs, now our insurance products cover the whole spectrum too.
Bupa has found that cost and tax are the top barriers preventing businesses from offering healthcare to more employees. Seven in ten (71 per cent) employers who do not provide workplace health support cite taxes as a consideration in not doing so. Employers and employees currently have to pay National Insurance and Income Tax on the cost of employer-funded healthcare, which makes it unaffordable for many companies and individuals, despite its importance in helping to reduce absence and improve workforce productivity.
Today Bupa is calling on the government to remove such disincentives from workplace health benefits, and is launching a range of cost-effective new products – Foundations, Business Fit and Superior – as part of Bupa Business Health Solutions. The current health insurance product, Bupa Select, will also form part of Bupa Business Health Solutions, which gives a complete spectrum of products for employers to choose from.
Foundations can help a company become an ‘employer of choice’, by enabling them to attract and retain the best talent. It is a new solution which is up to 60 per cent lower than traditional PMI – allowing employers to offer a valuable benefit to currently uninsured employees. With three levels of cover, Foundations provides treatment and care when members need it most:
- Diagnosis – prompt expert diagnosis
- Treatment – specialist private treatment
- Combined Care – both diagnosis and treatment through Bupa’s network of experts
Foundations can help employers to attract and retain employees and boost staff morale by making them feel valued and rewarded.
Business Fit will help organisations to reduce sickness absence by providing high quality treatment for two of the biggest causes of ill health in the workplace: mental health and musculoskeletal conditions. In 2011, 7.7 working days per employee were lost to ill health, at an average cost to businesses of £673 per employee per year . Business Fit costs from as little as 0.6 per cent of payroll costs.
- Full physiotherapy cover, helping employees to get back to work more quickly. Bupa data shows that 94 per cent of musculoskeletal cases treated by physiotherapy are resolved with no need for further referral. Employees can have as much physiotherapy as they need, with no excess to pay. Early intervention is key for musculoskeletal conditions – in one case early access to physiotherapy reduced absence by an average of six weeks per employee.
- Full range of mental health therapies (eg cognitive behavioural therapy), counselling, psychiatric consultations and diagnostics
- Around-the-clock telephone access to Bupa’s team of GPs and nurses, allowing employees to discuss their health concerns at their convenience.
- Available to companies with 20+ employees
Tony Wood said: Absence can causing big problems for a business if employees are off work with back pain, for example, and can’t get access to treatment such as physiotherapy quickly enough. Business Fit is perfect for companies like this. It supports ill or injured employees and helps them get back to work quickly where treatment isn’t readily available, and enables the business to be productive again.
Bupa Select for SME
Bupa’s popular, comprehensive health insurance product is available to small and medium businesses in three different tiers: Key, Enhanced and Complete.
Bupa Select for Corporate
Fully comprehensive, customisable health insurance for businesses with 250+ employees.
A global policy giving comprehensive worldwide cover for key personnel such as senior executives or owner/operators for all circumstances, including all hospital treatment, vaccinations and a full health assessment.
David Battle, chief executive officer, Lorica Employee Benefits said: Whilst we all like talking about wellness in the workplace there are, in reality, only a small number of employers tackling the issues of health and engagement in a coherent manner. However, there are a very significant number of employers who are trying either to tackle just one of these issues or address both as separate initiatives. For most of these employers, the challenge is how to address the health needs or how to increase engagement across the whole workforce when the budget will only provide comprehensive health insurance for a small cohort of staff. The development of Bupa Business Health Solutions is an important step in helping employers to provide meaningful benefits across the entire workforce in a way that can address both health and engagement and is good news for our industry and employers alike.
Tony Wood said: Current market conditions are more challenging than ever. Business is tough for our clients so we are using our healthcare expertise to find innovative solutions to their problems. As market leader, Bupa needs to drive change by being inventive and bold. Bupa Business Health Solutions will allow clients to provide high quality healthcare for more of their employees, even in these difficult times.
 The Value Engineers UK SME Segmentation Research 2011. Base 726 UK SME decision makers
 Bupa report:Getting Britain Fit for the Recovery, September 2012
 Bupa report:Getting Britain Fit for the Recovery, September 2012
 CIPD Absence Management Survey 2011
 Bupa internal data, 2012
 Northern Ireland Audit Office, Management of sickness absence in the Northern Ireland Civil Service, 2008
 Superior is sold and administered by Bupa International as part of the Bupa Group