...and why its provision should be considered in your Business Plan
"Establishing a new company can be a very exciting time for you, your family and your employees but undoubtedly it can also be a stressful experience. In and amongst the plethora of protection policies that you will need to implement, from income to liability protection, you can easily overlook your key resources and the cornerstones of your new venture – you and your employees!
Below are 5 reasons to help you consider why Private Medical Insurance (PMI) should be considered as a priority for your new business and the benefits that it can provide to you, your family and your staff.
1. Downtime - Can you afford not to work whilst waiting for treatment on the NHS?
Despite the NHS being a world-renowned institution, loved by many, it is undeniable that it is under increasing pressure and the waiting lists are becoming longer. When using the NHS, you have less input in your treatment pathway and significantly less flexibility when accessing consultant lead care. You will find that specialist consultations, diagnostics and operations often take place Monday to Friday during working hours. This will invariably be when you are at your most productive and busiest trying to build your company. By having a PMI policy you can arrange care around your working day and even on a weekend, thereby ensuring that you can maximise productivity and limit the disruption to your business.
2. Denial of the Facts – Are you likely to put off visiting a doctor because “it’s nothing serious”?
A recent AIG Life study*1 has found that 54% of people believe that they will not suffer from a serious medical condition during their lifetime. In reality, cancer will directly impact 1 in 2 people and this does not include other common serious conditions like heart-related ailments. As part of an overall strategy, you should ensure that your PMI is considered a priority because it may not be a case of 'if' care will be needed but 'when'.
3. Mental Health Work Burnout – Are you coping to the “best” of your ability?
As an entrepreneur, you will be more than familiar with the stress and pressure that building your company can bring. The stark reality is that you are at a higher risk of mental health issues and, unlike a physical problem, a mental health problem can be easily dismissed until a “Burn Out” occurs. In 2018, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards conducted a study** and found that:-
- 58% of those surveyed experienced mental health issues
- Conditions included anxiety (21%), depression (19%) and stress (41%)
- 55% of respondents said that running a business has had a negative impact on their mental health
Healthcare insurance providers are acutely aware of this growing mental health epidemic and just like any condition, prevention is better than the cure. To this end, many providers offer robust mental health support that can include digital, platform-based, low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to more intensive consultant lead care.
4. Family Worry - Stress and worry about family and home affects your working life more than you realise.
Behind most successful entrepreneurs is a strong family support network. After all, "No man is an island" (John Donne 1572-1631). You cannot always prevent your loved ones from becoming ill but PMI gives you the comfort of knowing that a solution is in place to offer them excellent care when they need it most. This can then limit the amount of distress to you and disruption to your company, allowing you to keep focused on the success of your business.
5. People Power - The greatest resource in your company is not machinery or hardware but your staff as they are the foundation that your company is built upon.
For a growing company, there is considerable disruption if key members are unwell or needing to take long periods of time off due to ill health. A common problem that you will find is that a simple GP appointment can take half a working day. For this reason, providers are now offering access to primary care in the form of a virtual GP appointment meaning that your staff may not even need to leave the office. In many cases, a speciality referral will not require a GP appointment. This streamlined approach to offering care is not only allowing employees to access treatments sooner but it enables you to maximise productivity. Holistically, PMI can pay dividends, when your employees feel valued, they are at their productive best.
In summary, the provision of healthcare insurance within your company is far greater than the sum of its parts and the cost is usually considerably less than you would expect. Even the most basic healthcare insurance policy will cover in-patient care, day-patient care, full cancer cover and treatment in a private hospital.
PMI will enable you, your family and your employees to access the treatment and care that is required at the time that it is required the most, benefitting you and your new business."
Samuel Townsend, Healthcare Consultant at Independent Health Care Solutions Limited
* AIG Life, [Millions are living with illness denial], June 2019
** Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, [Mental Health in Entrepreneurship], October 2018