IMG 5423 e1708531359112 - Healthcare Insurance Market: What To Expect In 2024

Due to rising medical inflation costs and the number of claims insurers are seeing, the healthcare market finds itself in a bit of a difficult place at the moment. 

Because of this, it’s important to listen to the specific needs of the client, help them understand the market, explain products available, including the promotion of relevant additional benefits effectively and regularly.

With this in mind what we are increasingly seeing is many large and complex clients searching for an advisor who is almost an extension of their HR Team – someone who can provide the support and guidance required to implement and develop their health and wellbeing strategy long term.

To examine this in more detail, and tackle other relevant questions, we sat down/spoke with Emma Wood, Director of Healthcare to address some of the key talking points. 

What are some of the most important considerations for a UK organisation when looking to design the optimal health and wellbeing solution?

Consideration should always be given to the types of absence currently within the business, followed by a detailed look at how these could be reduced/prevented. An in-depth discussion around what their ideal solution(s) would be and what options are available to achieve this usually comes next – whilst continuing to ensure value for money and that the policy will be sustainable and grow with the business. A look at how benefits are promoted not just at induction but periodically throughout the policy year, is also vital.

Why are UK organisations investing so heavily in employee health and wellbeing strategy? 

Employees are more aware than ever of their overall package and not just their pay. The delays and demands on the NHS have also had an impact on people wanting peace of mind. Employers, as a result, are more aware that to be seen as a caring employer who invests in its people, they cannot simply introduce benefits without a plan and strategy behind them. They also need to reduce absence levels and recruit and retain quality people. So, why not help them as much as they can? 

What is occupational wellbeing in the workplace and why is this such a key area of focus for leading UK companies? 

It goes without saying that as a basic standard, wellness and wellbeing should be promoted in the workplace. Not only does this benefit the business by reducing absences and helping to recruit/ retain employees, but a healthier and happier workforce is more productive. Employers recognise the obligation they now have, to support employees with all aspects of their health and wellbeing, and promote healthy living; something existing and future employees will really value and are looking for.

Is it possible to personalise and tailor an employee benefits solution based on the employee’s life and career stage?

In short, yes it is. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and a good advisor will help to tailor the right package and combination of products to evolve with the business. A modular system of benefits within a business can be put in place which helps with recruitment and retention, and also ensures that employees value the benefits they have in place. Not all benefits are appropriate or wanted by all employees. 

Can benefits be flexed and vary in line with employee role/seniority? If so, can you provide examples?

Yes. For example, you may have senior and key employees on a high level of cover including their dependents. Mid-management may be on a different level of cover entirely, while other employees could quite possibly be on a Cash Plan policy which is generally low-cost, high-value cover, providing help to employees with everyday healthcare costs with minimal impact to their P11d benefit.

Is it the case that no two employee benefits programme are likely to be the same? 

Absolutely! There are so many products and variations of the levels of cover, that no two benefit programmes should look the same.

With the vast array of providers and products available, by having the right conversations, a truly well-tailored solutions package can be designed that caters for the client(s) needs, both short and long-term.

Is it possible to create a global healthcare solution for organisations with people and operations outside of the UK? 

Yes, it is and we can/do already. Whether it’s providing an Employee Assistance Programme, medical insurance for employees stationed overseas or a business that has multinational requirements with a workforce spread across many countries – we have cover and experience in it all. 

Typically, at a company, where does Employee Benefits sit within a business? HR or finance? 

Typically the responsibility of the employee benefits will fall within the HR/people function department, or perhaps with smaller businesses, the Finance Director or even the Owner/CEO.

What is Broadway doing differently to help clients in this area? (Extension of HR function).

We are taking it back to basics and looking at what the client would like to achieve and what problems they need to solve. We place the client at the heart of everything we do. 

By being an extension of the HR function within a business, we can really tailor a package for a client that will be valued and sustainable in the future with the growth of the business.

We support our clients not only with the implementation of any policies, but with the general PR and marketing throughout the year, including administration.  We are then always on hand to help members when they need to make a claim or require advice about potentially making a claim.

What is Broadway doing to better support our customers when thinking about making a claim?  

We can help with all aspects of claims; from pre-authorisation right through to completion. It’s so important to be there to help members when they need to make a claim because it can often be a confusing and worrying time – knowing you are not alone is crucial to ensure the cover is utilised correctly and members are able to access care and support as quickly and smoothly as possible. That’s the priority really. 

What is Broadway doing to help customers to better embed and communicate benefits across the organisation? 

This is where we really are an extension of HR. We can be involved as much as a client would like. For example, some of the areas we cover include; drafting communication for recruits, confirming what their package will be, and once an offer is accepted, helping them smoothly transfer and understand their new benefits. We can even offer one-on-one meetings to discuss their cover in detail.

We also ensure a smooth process for new benefits introduced by a company, and effective communication to employees about this via webinars with the insurer or ourselves. We see great value in introducing guides explaining their core benefits and highlighting some of the additional free services such as personalised videos and intranet content.

It may be that additional help is required with paperwork to set up a policy or periodical promotional material to remind members of their benefits and additional services.

When it comes to scheme leavers, we can discuss their options with them in order to continue their cover personally, and with our ‘One Broadway’ approach we can help with their personal insurance requirements too.