Benenden has developed an interesting approach to company healthcare and has now added a cash plan product tailored towards the employee benefits market. It says this completes its three stage approach to helping employers tackle absenteeism, increase productivity, and improve health and wellbeing in the workplace. Benenden has branded this suite Benenden Healthcare for Business. It is worth looking at how all three now fit together…
The first stage, supporting the idea of proactive action before health issues occur, is the existing product called Health Assessments for Business. This is designed to help employees understand their current health and identify health risks before they become serious.
The second stage is the existing Healthcare for Business product. This gives employees access to private consultations and treatment. Offered on a discretionary basis, all requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure those members that need it most are supported (traditionally, this discretionary approach is one Benenden has adopted on many of its products, so it has built up a track record of fairness). This plan also offers immediate access to 24/7 GP and psychological wellbeing helplines as well as online GP e-consultations, which means employees can talk with a GP without needing to take time off work.
The new ‘Cash Plan for Business’ product completes the trio. Supporting the health of employees after issues occur, it offers a low cost solution (from £1 a week per member) with a choice of five cover levels. The plan’s key benefits are:
Optical: This pays 100% reimbursement (on Level 1 an optical voucher rather than cash can be chosen). The maximum annual benefit ranges from £52.50 to £300 a year.
Dental: 100% reimbursement, with a maximum benefit of £50-£300 a year.
Dental trauma: 100% reimbursement (£100-£500 max).
Therapies: 100% reimbursement. This benefit pays for physiotherapy; osteopathy; chiropractic; homeopathy; reflexology, and acupuncture, with a maximum benefit of £125-£450 a year.
Chiropody: 50% reimbursement (£50-£250).
Hearing aids: 50% reimbursement (£200-£600).
Hospital in-patient. Cash amount per night (£10-£40) up to 30 nights a year.
Hospital day case. Up to six days a year (£10-£40 per day).
New child/adoption benefit (lump sum of £75-£400).
Prescriptions: 100% reimbursement (max £25 on all plans).
Personal accident insurance (tiered benefits based on severity and a max benefit £25K on all plans).
Employee assistance programme. 24/7 helpline providing counselling, medical and legal advice.
The plan does not cover diagnostics as this is covered under the main product, but it may be possible to add it on request.
The plan is available from age 16, but some benefits are not available to those aged 75 or over when the policy starts. There is an initial two year waiting limit for hospital treatment for pre-existing conditions. Exclusions are fairly typical.
Comment: Rather than just offer a standalone health cash plan (HCP), Benenden’s offer is part of a three stage proposition, so employers can choose all or only those elements they believe are most important to them (and/or best fit their budget). If they start with just one or two elements, upgrading can also be simple and the firm can then complete the three stage package.
The health cash plan itself offers fairly standard benefits but includes the key ones such as dental and optical. Diagnostics are not covered within the cash plan, however Diagnostic Cover is provided as standard within the Healthcare for Business product or can be added to the cash plan subject to negotiation.
Overall, the package adds up to a good proposition that could appeal to many SMEs especially.
Plus points: A health cash plan that is part of a wider, three stage, offering; Low cost; Provider BHSF is a major health cash plan player; Benefits usually paid within two days.
Not so plus points: The cash plan benefits are fairly standard; Cover is provided by a third party (BHSF) – some may see that as a negative; Benefits are relatively low .
Rating (max 10): Innovation: 8. Overall: 8. Gold
Tags: HCP; Benenden