Few employers integrate their corporate healthcare provision. Richard Saunders explains how trusts can make this a reality
In recent years benefit budgets have been cut or frozen with wide-scale switching of insurance schemes to the lowest annual premium, but these premiums have not been sustainable and savings are now being lost to increases at renewal.
As a result, many employers are changing their approach to allow for greater provision and more sustainable benefit packages. However, just adding off-the-shelf products to current provision does not allow for optimal budget allocation and often leads to employees being lost between providers without guidance or direction.
A JOINED-UP APPROACH
A common example of this stacking of products, where services are often not fully utilised, is the provision of an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). It is not unusual for an employee to be claiming from the private medical insurance mental health benefit when they could be utilising a 24hr telephone counselling service, or even face-to-face sessions, already funded through the employer’s EAP provider.
With a joined-up approach, costs could be mitigated to reduce annual spend, but more importantly the employee would receive the most appropriate immediate care.
HOW CAN A HEALTHCARE TRUST HELP?
There is one obvious route to achieving a fully functioning integrated health and wellbeing strategy, and that is through a healthcare trust.
A healthcare trust is truly bespoke and can accommodate most health and wellbeing benefits, as well as interacting with providers of other benefits such as EAP, group insurance protection and health screening. They also offer significant tax efficiencies over traditional insurance products as they are not subject to Insurance Premium Tax in the same way.
Trusts are usually administered by medical third party administrators such as Healix, who can act as the hub to other providers and navigate the scheme member to the most appropriate pathway or provision. At Healix, our nurse case managers take the first call from the member and navigate appropriately from the outset, e.g. mild stress issues to the EAP provider or full medical from the trust.
MITIGATING COSTS FOR THE LONG TERM
With the growing trend for employers to review spend, integrate benefits and subscribe to commercial requirements, the opportunity to review benefit design at its core and gain confidence that they are moving towards sustainable spend can be a reality.
With a healthcare trust administered by Healix, employers can start with a clean sheet and build a health benefit programme to suit their corporate needs by:
- Reviewing risk and cost tolerances and designing benefits to match this
- Introducing clearly defined tiered benefit structures where required
- Working with Healix to agree clearly defined treatment pathways to meet absence targets and budget
- Tailoring high-usage benefits to reduce diagnosis and treatment times and review rehab to ensure speedy return to work
- Considering the long-term impact of cancer on their organisation in terms of exposure, absence and budget. Then work with Healix to define screening, diagnosis and treatment.
AREAS OF PROVISION THAT COULD BENEFIT FROM AN INTEGRATED APPROACH:
- EAP linked to PMI / health scheme
- Health screening – direct access to PMI scheme, without the need for GP referral
- Private GP services linked to PMI / health scheme
- GIP – identification of possible long term conditions to be funded by GIP insurer but administered by PMI scheme
- Second opinion services linked to PMI / GIP / EAP
- 24/7 Medical helpline linked to PMI / GIP / EAP
- Cash plan scheme linked to GIP / EAP
- Critical illness linked to GIP
For more information on how Healix can help design bespoke corporate healthcare trust schemes, contact us at email@example.com, call Richard Saunders on 0844 854 0050 or visit us at healix.com/healthcare-trusts.