The cost of small business health insurance in the UK is affected by numerous factors, so producing a meaningful average is difficult. That said, we've got quotes from the leading health insurers to indicate what you can expect to pay for a group health scheme.
Small business health insurance is a policy taken out by an employer to provide employees access to private healthcare services in the UK. While there are differing levels of cover to choose from, broadly speaking, these policies allow employees to be diagnosed and treated faster than they might be via the NHS.
It's well documented that the NHS is suffering from a record-breaking backlog, and even critical services like cancer care are struggling. It's not just hospitals that are feeling the strain; getting GP appointments and access to services such as physiotherapy, talking therapies and more has become difficult.
Private health insurance enables those with policies to access private healthcare treatment options in the UK. In most cases, they've seen and treated faster. Here are some of the core benefits of small business health insurance from both an employee's and employer's perspective
All health insurance policies, both for businesses and individuals, are designed to cover the costs of treatment relating to acute medical conditions, meaning those that can generally be cured. Chronic conditions, i.e. those that can't be cured and perhaps need monitoring and management, aren't typically covered.
It's difficult always to know what is and isn't covered as, for example, a mental health issue or cancer may not be curable but would still be covered, assuming you have opted to have them covered. Therefore, it's always wise to review your policy terms in detail and speak to a health insurance broker to ensure that you fully understand what to expect.
Later in this article, we look at the current average cost of small business health insurance and those costs are based on three differing covering levels. We won't dwell on this too much, but here is how we've defined each group for which we've provided example pricing.
Key cover includes inpatient treatment at a network of private hospitals across the UK. It also includes some outpatient cover, meaning costs relating to pre-treatment diagnostic tests will be covered only up to a maximum level (typically £1,000). Key cover doesn't include things like physiotherapy or mental health cover.
Enhanced cover includes everything Key cover does, but the outpatient cover limit is £1,500. In addition, it also includes therapies cover, so physiotherapy and other alternate therapies are included.
Finally, Comprehensive cover includes unlimited outpatient cover, therapies, and mental health support.
None of the cover types we've provided pricing for include routine dental and optical cover, nor do they include travel cover, all of which are available as optional add-ons.
All health insurance policies will typically exclude the following:
Health insurance is seen as a P11D benefit in kind, meaning that by providing it to employees, they will need to pay PAYE and National Insurance contributions to the value of the benefit. While this is a relatively small amount in most cases, older employees or those with family members who also have cover will see a more significant increase in their tax bills.
From a company's perspective, health insurance is a tax-deductible business expense; therefore, the policy's cost will be deducted from your profit at your year-end.
In this section, we explain what affects the cost of a small business health insurance policy along with providing you with some example quotes. Please remember that the quotes we've provided are based on many factors, and the price you pay will be different.
While not an exhaustive list, you can generally expect all of the following to affect the cost of your policy:
The pricing below is based on quotations from several leading insurers; we obtained those quotes in June 2022.
While the most significant factors in the cost of your small business health insurance plan will be the number of employees you have, their ages and the level of cover you opt for, your location also has a large impact. In this part of our article, we look at the average cost of health insurance based on where your business is located.
This chart shows the cost small businesses can expect to pay for health insurance in towns and cities across the UK.
You can typically need three or more employees to set up a group health insurance policy. Therefore if you are a small business owner with less than that number, you'd need to take out a personal policy instead. Thankfully, providers such as WPA offer discounts for self-employed individuals and professionals, so you may end up paying less by doing it personally anyway.
Comparing small business health insurance isn't straightforward, and there isn't an online tool that'll allow you to do it. The only way to compare prices easily is by speaking to an independent health insurance broker. The service they provide is free of charge, and they will do the leg work and provide you with a summary of what each of the leading providers' charges and offers. Not only that, but they will be able to answer any questions you might have and ensure that you understand what it is you are buying.
Disclaimer: This information is general and what is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Please speak with a financial adviser or do your own research before making a decision.
You can only get health insurance through your business if you have three or more employees on the policy. If you are a small business owner that would like to cover for yourself and your family, it may be best to take out a policy personally.
There are numerous benefits of providing medical insurance to your employees, but perhaps most importantly, it ensures that should they become unwell, they get the treatment they need promptly and are back to work as soon as they can.
Not usually, most group health insurance schemes start at three employees.
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*Based on 461 quotes between 01/22-01/23