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Breeze from Health Shield


Pros

Cons
A new strategic direction from January 2020Some might see this as moving too far away from its health cash plan roots
A range of help and advice services at low costMany advisers are not yet geared-up to this style of product and service requirement
Targeted at SMEsNot available until January 2020

The Product

Health Shield has announced a new strategic approach focused on providing preventative workplace health and wellbeing solutions for organisations of all sizes, but with a specific focus on helping SMEs. The move is part of a brand evolution and digital transformation it says.

Breeze is a digital platform available direct to employers and through intermediaries. It brings together Health Shield’s physical, emotional and financial health and wellbeing services.

Breeze is designed to encourage employee self-care. An employee can access the services from any digital device, allowing them to book and manage their own appointments, access health information and assessments and receive discounts from big-name brands. It is also designed to be simple for employers to manage, including: automated onboarding; anonymous reporting on usage; easy to add and remove benefits, and tiered levels of benefits for managers and staff if required.

Employees can access a range of services and information, including:

  • GP Anytime – direct line to a doctor via phone or video chat.
  • On-demand physio – consultations via phone or video chat.
  • Health assessments – online health and lifestyle analysis.
  • Wellbeing App – access to Thrive, a wellbeing app that meets NHS standards.
  • 24/7 counselling.
  • Cancer screening.
  • Stress-related absence support.
  • Home assistance – practical help following hospital treatment.
  • PERKS Reward Scheme – deals and discounts from a range of brands
  • Information and guides on all aspects of health and wellbeing topics.

Additionally, Health Shield is further developing its OH capability as part of Breeze, with a particular aim to offer affordable services for SMEs. This provides occupational health risk surveillance assessments, an online support service and OH management referrals.

Breeze will be available from January 2020.

What they say

Courtney Marsh, Health Shield Chief Executive, said: “Our new strategic approach is focused on providing affordable and easy to access preventative health and wellbeing solutions that help people lead happier, healthier and more productive lives. Through the Breeze platform we are also making available to SMEs the kind of benefits programme, administration and analytics – plus support in line with their legal responsibilities around employee health – to which only their larger counterparts have traditionally enjoyed access. It’s effectively a one-stop shop wellbeing solution that provides a range of services within a fully digital experience that can be personalised for each employee’s needs.”

What we say

Health Shield’s changes come at a time when the Government is consulting on future policy to help ensure all UK businesses take a more proactive approach to absence management, and improving employment prospects for those with long-term health conditions.

It points out that Government commissioned research found that although the majority of SMEs understand how employee health impacts business and productivity, they’re very reactive and lack understanding of absence management. Over half (56%) of small businesses say they ‘take action as and when employee health and wellbeing becomes a problem’, in comparison to 28% of large employers that say the same.

If Health Shield’s right, both the timing and the nature of the changes look to be pitched well. Breeze essentially looks to help employees help themselves, which should work better than trying to impose solutions on them – at least for many.

Breeze does not replace the need for a health cash plan, PMI or any other health benefit but it provides a range of practical services that can be just as important – or even more important – than cash or refund based benefits.

Targeting the huge but under-targeted SME sector looks to make sense too, for advisers as well as for Health Shield.