A study done by Cigna UK HealthCare Benefits (UKHB) and EMedia has found that almost a third of employers in the UK would consider extending private medical cover to employees who are currently uninsured. The research also found that over half of those employers interested in extending medical cover to more of their workforce were willing to pay £300 per employee per year. And almost a quarter were willing to pay as much as £500. Findings from the study also suggest that employers are willing to limit cover for cancer and cardiac conditions in order to reach a more affordable price point.
The study further confirmed that the majority of employers in the UK provide medical cover only to senior employees. This means that employees who are most likely to need quick access to medical care for musculoskeletal and mental health conditions – the leading causes of workplace absence –may not be getting the support they need. With NHS waiting times for treatment for these conditions showing no signs of improvement, employers have a real opportunity to positively impact their employees’ health and productivity by providing some level of cover to all.
Kirsty Jagielko, head of UKHB product management says: “It’s promising to find so many employers acknowledging the benefits of extending medical cover to more of their employees. The research also tells us that employers are willing to focus cover on certain conditions to help reach a more affordable price point. EssentialHealth from Cigna covers the two key causes of workplace absence – mental health and musculoskeletal disorders. This benefits both employees, by offering them quick access to private treatment, and employers, through a reduction in employee absence levels.”