8 August 2022

Getting back to work quickly, thanks to Private Medical Insurance.

A few sick days here and there might not seem like too much of an issue for a single employee but combined they can make a huge impact on the bottom line of a business. And what if sickness absence is made much longer because required treatment is not available?

A recent BBC news article highlighted that long NHS waiting times appear to be pushing people into paying thousands of pounds for private treatment [1]. The article describes case studies where patients suffering through long NHS waiting times had even opted to take out loans in order to get treatment done privately.

Long waiting times force workers to take out loans for private treatment.

The BBC article followed research released by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) [2] that suggested that since the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in patients paying out of their own pockets for hip and knee operations. Self-funded hip replacements increased 165% when comparing July to September 2019 figures against the same period in 2021, while self-funded knee replacements saw a 122% rise.

Of particular relevance is the example of an apprentice engineer whose knee problems had meant that they had become bed-ridden and unable to work. Rather than facing a wait of up to two years on the NHS and worried they would lose their job, they took out a loan to cover the £7,000 cost of a private operation and follow-up physiotherapy. When faced with a loss of earnings over a period of up to two years, it’s easy to understand why so many opt to pay for expensive treatment.

Musculoskeletal issues are a common problem impacting workers.

Many ECIS scheme members are using their Private Medical Insurance (PMI) to quickly resolve Musculoskeletal issues impacting their ability to work. Indeed, Musculoskeletal issues account for a higher proportion of claims spend than any other issue on the ECIS large corporate policy which covers nearly 15,000 individuals. Costs for common Musculoskeletal operations like hip and knee replacements can top £15,000 in the private sector if the patient pays.

With the ECIS Private Medical Insurance scheme with Bupa, these costs would be covered through the monthly premium. As well as reduced waiting times, PMI will typically provide increased medical resources such as the Direct Access Service which enables members to be triaged directly with Bupa with only a simple phone call. The scheme also provides a comprehensive range of specialist treatments, helping your staff get back on their feet and back to work quicker.

How ECIS can help

If you don’t already have a PMI scheme or if you have a PMI renewal approaching, ECIS can help you find the right option for you. Contact us at ecis@ecins.co.uk or call us on 0330 221 0241.

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-62042465
[2] https://www.phin.org.uk/press-releases/triple-digit-percentage-rise-in-number-of-people-choosing-to-self-fund-private-hip-and-knee-replacement-operations-since-the-pandemic