What it takes for small businesses to grow through company health insurance
September 2023   SMALL BUSINESSES

What it takes for small businesses to grow through company health insurance

For group health insurance to be effective, plans must address the specific requirements of organisations and their employees. They have to be affordable and sustainable too. So, what does it take for business owners to design a plan that’s tailor-made for their company and to enjoy the rewards of their investment?
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The fact is, there’s a lot to consider. We’re not talking about off-the-shelf solutions here – every business is unique and what works for one may prove ineffective for another. Also, we know that some small business owners do not offer private healthcare to their employees, believing it to be prohibitively expensive. Others have plans that no longer meet their requirements, but they lack the time and knowledge to address the problem and implement more potent alternatives.

If this scenario is all too familiar, please read on. There’s a strong connection between healthy employees and business success, but achieving this requires some joined-up thinking. You’ll be glad to know that help is at hand. In this blog, we will explain how healthcare can become a catalyst for business growth and deliver an impressive return on investment. We’ll also consider how developments in the market are making private medical insurance a more attractive proposition to SMEs as the global demand for health services continues to increase.

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Simple, affordable company health insurance

Change has always been a constant in the healthcare market. However, as the world adjusts to the post-pandemic era, this has accelerated to an unprecedented level.  One consequence is the emergence of plans that make health insurance easier to understand and keep everything nice and simple. This change has been made possible by forward-thinking companies that have listened to their brokers and customers and  responded with new products that reflect the times we live in today and the financial pressures facing many businesses. Cigna Healthcare is at the forefront of these innovations, launching a range of uncomplicated, budget-friendly global plans to complement our established premium solutions.

What does all this mean for SMEs? In a word – opportunity. This is a great time to invest in private health insurance or, if you’ve got a plan in place already, to reconsider your current arrangements. However, it’s a good idea to do your homework before choosing a provider. Ask for recommendations, get quotes and talk to their customer teams. You’ll soon get a good feeling about the company that’s right for you. Above all, check that their plans are aligned with the needs of a small business. Remember, you’re not just looking for a health insurance provider. For your business to excel, you need a healthcare expert – one that’s happy to share knowledge, provide advice and help you to maximise your investment in whole health.

Company healthcare – building resilience and business success

Company owners have a duty of care to their employees. This means nurturing a workplace environment that’s safe and conducive to their well-being – a moral obligation to do the right thing. However, there’s also a strong business reason why this should be a priority. Without a healthy, motivated workforce, success simply won’t happen. Retaining and recruiting the best talent also becomes much harder, so the message is clear: invest in your employees’ health and well-being.

Let’s take a step back for a moment. Buying a plan isn’t a solution to workplace health problems if it’s unclear what they are and, crucially, what caused them. That’s why a Workplace Health Needs Assessment is an important first step in helping employers establish an accurate picture of their company’s health. With data from staff surveys, often conducted anonymously, companies can pinpoint areas of concern, prioritise their investment and plan a programme of activities that will prove effective in improving their employees’ health.

A holistic approach to healthcare and employee well-being

There’s no doubt that our priorities are changing. Results from Cigna’s 2022 360° Global Well-Being Survey tell us that 65% of respondents have spent more time re-evaluating their life goals than two years ago, with three out of five saying they value time over money. Fewer of us are accepting the status quo and taking good health for granted is no longer a given. Healthcare providers have listened and this is reflected in plans that do more than give employees private insurance cover and access to quality care. That’s expected. However, for the investment to deliver sustainable health benefits, services need to consider the whole person and focus on mental well-being as well as physical health.

Health plans can have an immediate and sustained impact in organisations where the culture is open and supportive. And this is where SMEs have an advantage over larger businesses. With fewer employees, there’s less bureaucracy and, crucially, communication is simpler.  It’s often easier for employers to get to know their staff, talk more openly about real-life issues and be in a position to help when it’s clear there’s a problem. By recognising that employees bring their worries into the workplace, business owners are taking the first step in helping to support them and minimise any negative impact on their health and well-being

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Creating a positive workplace culture

A group health plan gives employees the peace of mind that quality care is available to them and their families at any time. This commitment is significant as it sends out a powerful message that the company values their contribution, cares for their well-being and wants to reward them for their skills and loyalty. Staff will then take this positivity into the workplace.

From an employer’s perspective, not only does this fulfil a director’s duty of care, but it also represents a shrewd business decision. Speedy diagnosis and treatment help to reduce instances of long-term sickness and absenteeism and increase levels of productivity and competitiveness. However, why stop there? This investment will have considerably more impact when whole health becomes central to a company’s DNA and forms part of an ongoing narrative that encourages employees to make the right lifestyle choices and supports them when they need help. By fostering a positive corporate culture, staff will no longer feel isolated and their well-being considered a subject that’s taboo and off-limits.

Company health insurance is a catalyst for positive change

We know that healthy, motivated employees drive businesses to bigger and better things. Business owners can be confident their investment in health insurance will deliver significant financial benefits - in these challenging times, that’s good to know. However, the rewards are more far-reaching than profit levels and balance sheets. The bond between a business and its employees becomes stronger when staff take pride in working for a company that’s caring and receptive to their healthcare needs. And when this happens, there’s no limit to what’s possible.

If you’d like to discover more about our health plans, talk to us today. We are responsible for the healthcare requirements of over 180 million customers and patients worldwide and lead the market in developing cost-effective, sustainable plans that can be customised to include the products, services and tools each client needs.

Cigna Connect is our latest solution. Designed for small businesses, our Connect plans fill a gap in the market for simple, affordable and flexible health insurance that offers outstanding cover and great value for money.

Discover what makes Cigna Connect the choice of SMEs around the world

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