Vice President Global Sales Careington International and Munroe Sutton
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Get well sooner: the increasing value employees place on health benefits
How important are health benefits to UK workers?
A great deal, according to recent research which showed that around half of employees (48%) rank private medical insurance in their top three most valued benefits - a top three which all help employees when they are hit by poor health or illness.
We’re still some way off where things are in the US where health insurance is the most coveted of benefits. But the rise of health benefits in the UK is one of the notable trends of the past few years.
Talking to clients, it seems two factors are driving this.
As a nation we expect to live longer and people want to ensure they have the good health to enjoy their golden years. At the same time people are finding it harder to access and afford preventative healthcare such as dental and eye checkups. Not only has healthcare become a primary concern for employees, they have resigned themselves to the fact that the provision of government-funded healthcare is unlikely to improve and are looking to employers to bridge that gap.
Of course not every employer can afford PMI and actually it may not be the right solution for some employees. While PMI takes the financial sting out of treatment for curable illnesses or accidents, cash-plans encourage a preventative approach to healthcare, enabling employees to afford check-ups that can identify problems at an early, treatable stage.
Neither solution is better than the other. They both can be beneficial but have different purposes.
The takeaway lesson here is that healthcare benefits should form the foundation of every benefits programme but crucially, employers must ask staff what their healthcare needs are before they can decide which benefits are most suitable for them.