If you are an employer that has never bought in PMI before it is worth asking the following:
- Why do I want to buy PMI? Do I want to give my people a perk or am I looking to benefit my business with better return to work/absence management rates?
- What level of cover do I want?
- What am I signing myself up to? What does the future hold and what will I be contractually or morally obligated to provide?
- How much do I want to spend?
- Am I covering just the employee, or spouses and dependants also?
- Can the costs be controlled?
- What is the financial security of the insurer?
- What benefits can the insurer offer in addition to their standard product?
- What is the insurer’s expertise in managing medical insurance claims?
- How will I go about buying PMI in? Should I use a broker or approach the provider directly?
Chris Rofe, head of client relationships (large corporate portfolio) at AXA PPP, tells Personnel Today it is important that employers weigh up the pros and cons of medical insurance and are clear about why they want to offer it. “If companies knew 20/30 years ago where cancer treatment would go and how expensive it might be, they might not have included the cancer benefit,” he says. “Ask yourself do I want to liability for these things in 10 years’ time? What mechanisms can I put in place to help manage that cost?”
Dr Doug Wright, principal consultant at Aviva UK Health, agrees and says that employers should tailor their PMI so that it meets the business objectives they set out to achieve: “If a company wants to introduce private medical insurance to help control absence costs for example, they should look for an insurer offering specialist case management services.”
Tristram Hawthorn, head of risk and healthcare at rewards consultancy Vebnet, adds: “There are many factors to consider, including affordability, whether the policy is there to benefit your employees or you, how PMI integrates with your wider health, wellbeing and employee engagement strategy and what your aims are for including PMI. This is an expensive benefit and becoming increasingly so due to medical inflation; cost will be a major consideration.”