Aon has partnered with Equipsme to deliver an “affordable” private medical insurance (PMI) and employee healthcare solution for SMEs.
Equipsme’s standard cover – for £7 per person per month – includes private physiotherapy appointments in addition to a remote GP service, private prescription delivery and access to online health check and AXA PPP healthcare’s nurse helpline. It offers the same prices for people aged 16-69, whether they are new or existing customers.
Employees can upgrade their level of cover and add family members by paying separately via their own direct debit. An Aon spokesman said that these costs, as self-funded, would not attract any P11d charge and the process also minimises administrative impact on payroll teams.
Aon’s UK Benefits & Trends Survey 2020 revealed that 52% of employers offer fully company-funded PMI to all staff, leaving many employees to voluntarily self-fund or have no provision.
David Battle, CEO of Aon’s UK employee benefits division, said that for a number of businesses, offering traditional PMI as a benefit may only be achievable for senior members of their teams, potentially leaving a significant number of their people without any form of health cover.
He said: “As much as businesses might like to offer a valuable benefit like PMI to all of their employees, some employers will find that this is not financially possible.
“This new health insurance option provides employers with choice and flexibility, especially important now that COVID-19 is changing the way we live, work and gain health and wellbeing support.”
Every Equipsme plan holder receives an online health check and has 24/7 access to a private GP service as well as physiotherapy. Stress support provided by professional counsellors can be added for £1.50 per employee per month.
Plans can also be upgraded to include private diagnosis and hospital treatment.
This is done on a “digital triage and direction to in-person treatment” basis if a procedure cannot be safely delayed. As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions ease and private hospitals return to treating non-urgent patients in larger numbers, plan holders will access diagnosis and treatment in person.
Matthew Reed, the former SME boss at AXA PPP healthcare who founded Equipsme, said that most businesses are re-prioritising which employee benefits they offer and why, with a focus on “impact and sustainability”.
He said: “We are very pleased that Aon sees the opportunity to help more businesses around the country to deliver a hugely valued benefit to all their team.
“Equipsme’s offer is flexible with practical health support from day one which provides access to professional advice around the clock. We believe that it is going to prove to be a hugely attractive proposition to businesses around the country at a time when remote access to health and wellbeing support is more important than ever with the impacts of COVID-19.”