Health insurance Updated:
Businesses across the UK have increased their spending on healthcare benefits for their employees over the last 12 months, despite the challenging economic climate.
Fourteen per cent of the country's businesses now offer a company paid healthcare scheme, compared with just five per cent year ago, according to Employee Benefits magazine.
Specifically, companies are making Health Cash Plans available to their employees. They offer money back on wide range of healthcare costs, including optical and dental, complementary therapies, hospital in-patient and day-patient stays and maternity.
Twenty-seven per cent of companies employing fewer than 100 people now implement such a plan, earning small and medium size enterprises the tag of most proactive when it comes to employee healthcare.
Seventeen per cent of companies with personnel numbers of between 100 to 500 offer healthcare benefits, while just three per cent of businesses with between 501 and 1000 members of staff implement health plans.
A third of those working in the pharmaceutical industry are covered by company healthcare benefits, while businesses in the building and construction industries also scored highly, with 26 per cent having employee plans.
There is hope that these encouraging numbers could be extended next year, as 22 per cent of employers said they are planning to increase the healthcare benefits they offer in the next 12 months.
"Amidst all the doom and gloom we keep hearing about, employers are recognising how important it is to look after staff wellbeing in these challenging times," said James Glover, corporate sales and marketing director at Simplyhealth.
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