Don't be shy about talking to your employer about corporate health insurance provision. This important employee benefit has advantages for both you and them, and is easier to implement than they likely believe.
We've written this article to help you present a case to your director on why they should offer staff a company insurance plan. Included is: The rising costs of private insurance premiums, what businesses stand to gain by offering a corporate plan, and how consultancies can handle much of the legwork.
The rising costs of private health insurance
While the 2019 round of health insurance premium increases was the lowest in 18 years, the fact remains that the cost of having a private plan is still growing year on year. This is resulting in fewer people taking out cover – in fact, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in just three months between 31 December, 2018 and 31 March, 2019, the number of people with hospital cover went down by 0.1% This may not sound like a lot, but when you consider that over 44% of the population have this type of insurance, that's a significant drop in such a short period of time.
The concern here is that Australians are being priced out of the advantages that private health insurance offers. These benefits include:
- Shorter wait times than the public system.
- Avoiding tax (MLS) and premium penalties (LHC).
- Choice of hospital and doctors.
- Additional care such as chiropractic services or physiotherapy that isn't available on Medicare.
- Access to better care – e.g. private hospital rooms.
To stop this from happening, employers can help their staff afford private health insurance by offering a company plan.
Why employers should offer corporate health insurance
In order to demonstrate to your director how a corporate heath plan is in the best interests of the company, you can mention some of the following:
1. Showing staff they're valued – As we've seen, it's becoming harder for Australians to afford private health insurance. Therefore, employers who offer assistance with this vital health benefit are offering real value to their staff, and showing genuine concern for their wellbeing. What's more, many corporate plans include cover for family of employees, further extending the idea of the business looking after its staff and their loved ones.
As well as contributing to a positive working environment, providing this type of employment benefit will also make the business more appealing to prospective talent, and improve staff loyalty. In turn, this can mean fewer expensive hiring and training cycles.
2. Increased employee productivity – Absenteeism costs the Australian economy $44 billion a year, reports HR Advance – and when staff are off sick they're clearly not contributing to the business' goals. Added to this, you've got the phenomenon of presenteeism where personnel come into the office under the weather, and aren't able to perform as well as they usually would.
Corporate health insurance helps counter both of these occurrences. This is because employees can gain access to early intervention services that minimise or eliminate developing work-impacting conditions or illnesses. Even if a condition isn't caught earlier, private hospital patients can often expect to get medical attention ahead of those going through the public Medicare system.
3. They're flexible – A corporate plan should be tailored to a business' circumstances, and owners have choices over how they fund it. For some businesses, a voluntary plan (in which the company simply provides staff with access to insurance at a discounted rate) may be best, whereas others might wish to provide more financial assistance by either partially or fully-funding employee premiums.
4. Plans are easy to maintain – Often, executives don't invest in corporate health insurance because they believe it will result in lots more work for their HR staff. This doesn't have to be true. HICA can partner with companies to help them at all stages of their corporate health insurance journey. From finding the right plan through to implementation, our team of experts will be on hand to help your director and their team with any questions they might have.
With this information under your belt you should feel confident in challenging your CEO to provide you and your colleagues with corporate health insurance. Tell them to contact HICA today for a free assessment to find out the most appropriate options to suit their business.