How does corporate health insurance work?

Corporate health insurance provides group cover for businesses with 250+ employees. Business health insurance providers typically offer core cover and optional extras that you can add to tailor your company health insurance.

Your business pays a monthly or annual premium to cover all employees.

Business benefits of corporate health insurance

Private medical insurance forms a valuable part of your employee benefits package. It can help you create a company culture that values employees' wellbeing, making you an employer of choice. Business health insurance can also help you improve employee engagement and retention.

Health insurance benefits for employees

Business health insurance lets your employees access private healthcare conveniently and gives them a choice of expert consultants and high-quality hospitals. They can avoid spending time on an NHS waiting list and have access to cutting-edge treatment and medications not currently available via the NHS.

What coverage does corporate health insurance offer?

A corporate health insurance plan typically includes core cover, with treatments and services available to every customer. However, you can tailor your health insurance plan with optional benefits and services according to your circumstances.

Here's what you can expect to find.

Core coverage

In-patient and day-patient care

Both in-patient and day-patient treatment involve a hospital stay. In-patients spend a night in a hospital bed, while day patients can typically go home at the end of the day. Health insurance covers the cost of accommodation and treatment, including surgery costs and medication.

Cancer treatment

Cancer cover forms an integral part of private medical insurance. Most plans cover surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, while some include mental health support, nutrition advice, and cutting-edge treatments.

Mental health support

A basic corporate health insurance plan includes self-help resources and a few counselling or CBT sessions. Some corporate health insurance providers also offer access to mental health helplines.

Limited out-patient coverage

Most health insurance policies include some out-patient cover as standard. Cover varies between providers; some include two consultant appointments and diagnostic tests, while others cover out-patient surgeries or physiotherapy. Checking the small print is crucial.

Optional extras

Out-patient treatment

Comprehensive out-patient cover includes consultant appointments, tests, and treatment. You can often choose between different financial limits or unlimited coverage and may be able to include alternative therapies as part of your allowance.

Some providers offer separate therapies cover for physiotherapy and other physical therapies instead of including it as part of out-patient cover.

Enhanced mental health coverage

If you work in a stressful environment, enhanced mental health cover lets your employees access more counselling sessions and in-patient and out-patient treatments as needed.

Optical and dental cover

Optical and dental cover typically come as a package, funding regular dental check-ups, treatment and eye tests. It can help you provide cost-effective eye tests to employees working with screens. Your employees can also save money if they currently pay for private treatment.

Some policies only cover dental care, while others add hearing coverage.

Extended hospital list

Corporate health insurance hospital lists show which hospitals the policy covers. An extended list covers hospitals with higher costs, typically in London and other major cities. If you're based in a high-cost area, an extended hospital list can give staff more convenient access to treatment.

Employee assistance programme

An employee assistance programme provides telephone mental health guidance and can also offer financial and legal support. Employees can seek confidential advice without worrying about sharing sensitive information with their employer.

Other services and benefits

Employee benefits

Private medical insurance offers a range of services and benefits to every member. These include health advice helplines, virtual GP appointments, and reward schemes with discounts on gym memberships, holidays, and other top brands.

Most corporate health insurance provides health screening, benefiting you and your team.

Business services

Larger businesses must manage a larger workforce. Corporate health insurance provides services to help you meet the challenge and promote employee health and wellbeing. Employee health screening lets your insurer provide anonymised data insights and ongoing support to help you develop a wellbeing strategy.

Services can vary depending on business size, with some only available to businesses with 1,000+ employees.

Depending on your chosen provider you can add further services which may include:

  • Occupational health support
  • Change and crisis management
  • Workplace vaccinations
  • Mental health training and management support

Some services are also available with small business health insurance, such as workplace vaccinations.

What isn't covered

Business health insurance covers acute conditions that arise after employees join the policy. Every policy has standard exclusions and others based on employees' medical history.

Pre-existing conditions

If an employee sought advice or treatment for a medical condition in the five years before joining the plan, it's classed as a pre-existing condition and won't be covered. If they stay symptom-free for the first two years of cover, your insurers can add it to your plan.

Chronic conditions

Chronic illnesses, such as asthma, diabetes or angina, have no known cure and need long-term management. Private medical insurance doesn't cover chronic conditions, meaning employees need NHS care.

Standard exclusions

Standard health insurance policy exclusions vary between providers but typically include:

  • Emergency treatment
  • Straightforward pregnancy and birth
  • Addiction treatment
  • Cosmetic or weight loss treatment

How much does corporate health insurance cost?

Your health insurance cost will vary depending on several factors, including the policy and your circumstances.

The level of cover you choose

Offering a broader range of health benefits and wellbeing services can give you a healthier workforce, but will also increase your business health insurance cost. Speaking to a broker can help you conduct a cost-benefit analysis and create a corporate medical insurance policy that meets your business needs.


Your chosen underwriting impacts cost and employees' claims experience.


Moratorium underwriting excludes pre-existing conditions for the first two years of cover. Your employees don't provide any medical information when they join. However, insurers check for exclusions when they claim, meaning the process can take longer.

Full medical underwriting

Full medical underwriting also excludes pre-existing conditions for the first two years. However, employees must complete a medical questionnaire when they join the company scheme and understand the exclusions from the outset. The claims process is typically quicker.

Medical history disregarded

Medical history disregarded underwriting covers all conditions regardless of medical history, giving employees quick access to treatment. It's the most expensive option but allows employees to keep their medical details confidential and benefit from their health insurance.

Continued Personal Medical Exclusions (CPME) or Continued Moratorium (CMORI)

CPME and CMORI underwriting lets you move to a new corporate health insurance provider without adding new exclusions or asking your employees to restart their moratorium period from scratch. Switching can be complex, so it's wise to speak with a specialist broker.

The average age of your workforce

The older your employees, the higher your premium will be.

Your location

Many health insurance quotes are postcode dependent and consider healthcare costs and the level of claims when calculating costs.

The number of employees you want the policy to cover

Large businesses with many employees allow insurers to spread the risk and cost over more people, giving you a lower cost per head.

Your industry and individual occupations

If you work in a dangerous or high-stress industry, your employees are more likely to claim, so your insurance policy will cost more. Individual occupations can also impact costs, and insurers will examine how many employees you have in high-risk roles compared to lower-risk, office-based staff.

Ways to reduce your health insurance costs

Add an excess

Adding an excess means your employees must pay for part of their treatment with each claim or annually. When setting your excess, consider what your staff can afford to pay. Otherwise, they may avoid using their health insurance, resulting in delayed treatment and longer absences.

Six-week wait

Adding a six-week wait option means your health insurance won't pay for care if an employee can receive NHS care within six weeks. This can mean an employee won't qualify for private follow-up treatment if they receive emergency care from the NHS.

Guided consultant list

A guided consultant list limits an employee's choice of consultants and hospitals to lower-cost but still highly skilled providers.

Get in touch

Globacare is a regulated broker helping you find the best health insurance for your needs and budget. Contact us today for advice tailored to your circumstances.

Will Forsyth
Sales Manager

Will Forsyth

Will has over 11 years of experience, five with us and six with Axa Health before that. He's knowledgeable on many products, including health insurance, life insurance and business protection.

Frequently asked questions

No items found.