Employee health screening – have you got it covered?
A recent survey by IHC has found that of 457 corporates, 35% do not offer any type of health screening to their employees. Yet research shows that healthy, engaged and active employees are far better for productivity and results.
“Cost tends to be one of the biggest barriers to people buying a health screen,” explains senior consultant, Paul Roberts. “IHC can help overcome this by negotiating discounted rates for clients with the big-name providers, such as a 30% discount with Bupa health screening.”
“Some employers also have concerns about covering the full cost of a private health screening scheme. However, we find it is generally standard practice for the cost of the health assessment to be met by the employee as they benefit from a comprehensive, personalised health assessment, at a greatly reduce cost,” he said.
With a growing trend for people to take control of their own health, a workforce health screening strategy can deliver real value both for the individual and for the business with improved productivity and reduced sickness absence. Health screening can also be operated via salary sacrifice with employees able to make a saving of up to 12% on their chosen assessment and the cost spread over 12 months, collected via payroll.
“Access, and the difficulty of getting to a health screening clinic, is often cited as another barrier,” explains Paul. “However, many providers now offer a number of approaches whether it’s mobile clinics where health checks are carried out on site at the business premises or extended hours at multiple locations.”
Bluecrest Health Screening, for example now operates until 8pm at more than 2,000 locations across the country making it easier for people to book a health assessment at a time and location that works best for them.
An added benefit of using a workplace health screening scheme is that all administration is handled by the provider and often they provide tailored employee communications and marketing to help raise awareness of personal health generally and the health screening scheme specifically.
Most health checks are designed to provide a clear picture of an individual’s current health and identify early signs of diseases, in particular heart disease and cancer, or potential future health risks. A quarter of premature deaths, for example, are caused by cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes) but an estimated 50-80% of them are preventable, so health checks that help with early detection and treatment are key.
Health screening also provides employees with a safe space to discuss any health concerns they may have or ask questions of a qualified medical professional. Many providers offer tailored guidance and lifestyle coaching to help support individual health improvements which can reap long-term life-enhancing benefits. Bupa’s own research with customers shows how health screening can lead to positive changes in lifestyle and behaviour with improvements in overall health and wellbeing. They report that 80% of customers have changed their lifestyle habits either a little or a lot, 60% felt better able to deal with stress and 55% improved their sleep.
While individual results are strictly confidential, a group health screening scheme can provide an organisation with valuable data on general health trends across the workforce and average levels of health and fitness compared to national averages. This information can then be used by employers to review working practices and make changes that will help improve employee health and wellbeing.
A workplace health screening strategy and focus on positive health promotion can be a very effective way of increasing employee morale while at the same time benefiting the business by minimising sickness absence and reducing health insurance claims. Have you got your health screening policy in place for 2019?
If you would like more information on the options available, contact your IHC consultant who would be happy to chat through the health screening scheme best suited to you and your employees.