How does business health insurance work?

Group health insurance policies provide your employees with access to private healthcare. You choose a business health insurance policy and pay the premiums to cover your entire workforce. Because coverage is provided on a group basis, it allows your insurer to spread the risk, so the premiums on business health insurance policies tend to be cheaper than individual private health insurance cover.

As an employer, you need to make sure that new starters are added to the policy when they join. Then they'll be able to make a claim for private healthcare when they need it.

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Choosing the right broker

Finding the right health insurance cover can be time-consuming, and comparing quotes often means interpreting technical terms and conditions that may be unfamiliar to you. A business health insurance broker can use their in-depth knowledge of the UK health insurance market to guide you through the process. However, it's vital to choose the right broker.

Here are a few points to consider to help you with the search.

1. Are they experts in business health insurance?

A broker's website should tell you whether they offer advice on various different types of insurance or specialise in a particular field. A specialist health insurance broker can offer you expert advice because they have an in-depth knowledge of the market. It's why we talk about our brokers and their experience on our website.

2. Are they FCA regulated?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for regulating financial services in the UK to ensure that they follow the rules. An FCA-regulated insurance broker is monitored to make sure they give you impartial advice and that you're treated fairly.

3. Are they easy to talk to?

A good insurance broker will treat you as a human being and offer you clear, jargon-free advice. You should come away from a conversation with them feeling that you've been listened to and that they've made the effort to understand what you need from your business health insurance. Then, when you talk to them to compare quotes, you can be confident that you're getting the best advice. It's also important to consider whether they're easy to contact. Can you pick up the phone and talk to them or get a prompt reply to your email?

4. Check their reviews

Checking reviews allows you to read about the experiences of a broker's previous customers and learn about their experiences. Do their reviews talk about excellent customer service and high levels of customer satisfaction or reveal potential pitfalls? It's generally a good sign if a broker displays reviews on their website so you can find them easily. Working Feedback collects reviews from our customers, which you can find here.

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What's the process for working with a business health insurance broker?

Independent health insurance brokers offer a bespoke service that's tailored to your needs, and each one will have different processes. However, these are the main steps you can expect when you work with a business health insurance broker.

1. Initial chat

When you've chosen a broker, you'll start the process with a conversation that helps them to find the right health insurance for your business. They'll ask for information that they'll provide to several health insurance providers to allow them to provide you with a quote. These details enable insurers to assess the risks associated with offering you business health insurance and can include the following:

The size of your business

The number of employees you have can influence the cost of your premiums because the more staff you have, the more they're able to spread the risk. Some insurers offer different policies or a wider range of services depending on whether you're a small business or a larger corporation.

The type of work you do

Some businesses are higher risk than others. If you're a manufacturing or company your work will be high risk compared to an office based business.

The different roles within your business

As well as looking at the type of work your company does, your business health insurance broker will ask about the different roles within your workplace. This helps them to understand how many people are in low-risk as opposed to high-risk jobs.

Information about your employees

Your employees may be asked to provide information about their medical history further down the line, but this part of the process will look at the overall demographics of your workforce. For example, you'll likely be asked about your employees' average age and gender split.

Your budget

Understanding how much you have to spend enables your independent health insurance broker to focus on coverage that will help you to get the best possible deal for your money.

The services that your business needs

Most business health insurance comes with other services depending on the size of your business. These can include wellbeing services, HR and occupational health support. By learning about the services you already use or would benefit from, your broker can source appropriate quotes.

Your business objectives

Many health insurance companies have a particular focus that helps them to stand out in the UK health insurance market. Some have family-friendly policies that allow your employees to add their spouse or children at no extra cost, whilst others focus on improving the health and wellbeing of your workforce. If you have high rates of absenteeism, health insurance that encourages your staff to work towards specific health goals could offer an excellent return on investment.

2. Obtaining quotes

After your initial conversation, your broker will carry out a full market review, including both major insurers and smaller specialist providers, to help you find the right coverage. They'll contact insurance companies to obtain quotes that fit your needs and budget.

Your insurance broker will also deal with any follow-up queries that they receive from each insurer, only contacting you for additional information if it's essential. They'll also follow up with insurers to chase quotes.

3. Helping you to compare quotes

Once your broker has received quotes for various private health insurance policies, they'll contact you to discuss each quote. Each quote will include various health insurance coverage options and different types of underwriting. These are typically phrased in technical language, so your broker will talk you through the details, explaining what your health insurance covers. They'll also advise you on ways you can reduce the cost of your health insurance by making adjustments to the policy.

Your broker will ensure that you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

4. Health insurance policy options

When you compare health insurance quotes, it's important to understand exactly what coverage you're getting. Private health insurance policies comprise core coverage and optional extras that come at an additional charge. All the leading insurers include in-patient care as standard, but you'll typically need to pay extra for outpatient cover that allows your employees to access diagnostic tests, consultant appointments and outpatient physiotherapy.

There are various different ways to tailor your coverage. These can include financial limits, excess payments or opting for a limited choice of hospitals where your employees can receive treatment. Equally, if you have a bigger budget, you can choose to add optical and dental coverage or international health insurance if your employees regularly work overseas.

5. Dealing with the paperwork

When you've chosen your policy, your broker will contact your chosen provider to accept their quote and set up your health insurance policy. They'll send you a copy of the policy for your records. Most health insurers provide access to an online portal where you can manage your health insurance and provide your employees with information about the policy and the services that are available to them. Your broker will provide you with all the relevant information and may also liaise with your insurers if you experience any issues.

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What follow-up do business health insurance brokers offer?

Your relationship with your broker doesn't end once you have your private medical insurance in place. They'll be there to answer questions, provide support and help you to review your health insurance options when your policy comes up for renewal.

They can also support your employees through the claims process if they need to access private healthcare. All health insurance policies have exclusions which means that certain types of treatment aren't covered. Some of these are standard exclusions. However, if your employee has any pre-existing medical conditions, these will be excluded. The claims process will differ depending on the type of underwriting you have, and your broker can explain this and support your employee through their claim.

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Get in touch

We're an independent health insurance broker offering a personal service to help you find the right private medical insurance for your business. Contact our health insurance specialists for independent advice and a comparison quote.

Louis Vafa
Senior Broker & SME Expert

Louis Vafa

Having previously worked for Axa Health and with over a decade's experience, Louis provides expert financial advice to both our personal and business clients.

Frequently asked questions