Life - Articles - Access to health insurance from work important to employees

Research reveals health insurance is a key driver for over half (57%) of people when choosing a job. ABI calls on employers to inform staff about the health and wellbeing support available to them on day one of a new job and annually.

 The Association of British Insurers (ABI) today publish a new survey report. It evaluates public attitudes towards the role of health and protection insurance, alongside NHS services, in helping people to live healthier lives and preventing ill health longer term. The study also investigates how people feel about access to independent healthcare and whether this differs if it is through insurance provided by an employer.

 The survey, commissioned by the ABI from Public First, found that health insurance and income protection offered through the workplace are important factors for over half (57%) and almost half (49%) of people respectively when they are choosing a job. Seven out of ten (69%) people would also consider taking out health insurance if their employer offered it to them.

 Our recent analysis of the health outcomes of 16,365 people highlights some of the benefits of independent healthcare for employers too. The research found two of out three people (65%) who accessed vocational rehabilitation services through their insurer didn’t need to take sick leave and one out of four (21%) were supported to return to work.

 We are calling on employers to use the Day One Statement to inform staff about the benefits available to them on their first day of a new job and then on an annual basis so they can make best use of the support their employer offers. The Mid-life MOT also provides an opportunity for workers in their 40s and 50s to take stock of what health services are offered through the workplace. Health and wellbeing are already included in the MOT and so adding signposting to services available should be an ‘easy win’.

 Our survey findings also highlight that over half (54%) of people think the government should provide tax incentives to employers who offer their staff health and protection benefits. This further emphasises the growing importance of these products to people and the role they play in supporting a healthy, productive workforce. We continue to call on the government to cut the rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) on health insurance to allow more employers and individuals to access it and view this as a key route to improving workplace health.

 Rebecca Deegan, Head of Protection and Health, ABI, said: "The role insurers play to help achieve a healthy, thriving workforce can’t be underestimated. The sector’s investment in prevention and early diagnosis encourages people to take control of their health and live healthier lives.

 “As the number of people out of work due to ill-health rises, it’s also in employers’ best interest to inform their employees about the health and wellbeing support available to them, both on day one of a new job and annually. This is vital to encourage staff to make best use of the services on offer to support them to stay in good health.”  

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