Distribution deal agreed to make affordable health insurance more available to employees
Broker firm Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing has partnered with Equipsme to offer £7 health insurance plans to employers and their employees. The provider stuck a similar deal with Aon last month.
Standard cover on an Equipsme plan includes private physiotherapy appointments, a remote GP service, private prescription delivery and access to an online health check, plus AXA PPP healthcare's nurse helpline.
The agreement aims to open up the health insurance market for employers, especially small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMEs), who want to extend affordable health benefits to their workforce, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to put extra stain on the NHS. According to research, almost half of SMEs cite cost as the main barrier to employee wellbeing.
Meanwhile, a recent study carried out by Equipsme revealed that interest in private health insurance and treatment has doubled since coronavirus hit. More than half (58%) of employees consider health insurance to be a valuable benefit, compared with 36% who value a company phone and 25% who value gym membership.
Cheryl Brennan, executive director at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing, said: "The Covid-19 crisis has shone the spotlight on our national health and wellbeing. Employers and employees alike recognise the value of healthcare benefits. Being able to have quick and cost-effective access to diagnosis and treatment has risen up many businesses' agenda.
‘'We have seen clients that previously limited private healthcare cover to senior management or key employees within their organisation want to extend it more widely across their workforce. For some employers, cost has previously been the main barrier to making this benefit widely available, but our partnership with Equipsme means that they now have a cost-effective option.''
An Equipsme plan includes a health check for every policyholder and 24/7 access to a private GP service as well as physiotherapy. Stress support provided by professional counsellors can be added for £1.50 per employee per month and employees can upgrade their level of cover to include diagnostics and treatment and can also add family members paying separately via their own direct debit which saves Benefit in Kind tax and also minimises the administrative impact on the payroll team.
The same prices are offered for people aged 16-69, whether they are new or existing customers, and regardless of whether a claim is made.
Equipsme founder, Matthew Reed, said: "Businesses are emerging from lockdown and asking what they can offer - sustainably - to reward and support their staff with maximum impact. We are delighted that Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing see the opportunity to help more businesses around the country to deliver a hugely valued benefit to all their team."
Brennan added: "Our partnership with Equipsme means that valuable healthcare cover is now more accessible than ever before. It offers flexibility and practical health support from day one, with access to professional advice around the clock. It also meets the growing demand from employees who want to spend some of the money they have saved from commuting and holidays into access to healthcare support.''
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