Corporate Health Insurance

Corporate health insurance

Why should I consider corporate health insurance? Learn how these specialised policies can help the business and employees.

If you’re an employer, you should consider a corporate health plan because of the benefits it provides in terms of improved productivity and staff morale. If you’re an employee, being able to join a corporate health plan can offer not only cheaper health cover, but a range of great benefits as well.

What are corporate health policies?

A corporate health policy is a health insurance policy taken out by an employer for the benefit of their employees. Three methods exist for determining how the policy is paid for:

  • Fully funded. The employer pays for the health cover of their employees as a benefit of employment.
  • Partially funded. The cost of health insurance is shared by the employer and their employees.
  • Voluntary. The employer finds a health policy for their employees who can choose to join and pay for it themselves if they wish.

The policy types that are available for corporate plans are the same as those offered to consumers by health funds, which are:

The level of cover provided and the member benefits depends on the package the employer is able to negotiate with the insurer and the amount the employees are prepared to pay in premiums (if shared or employee funded).

What are the benefits of corporate policies?

Workplace health enjoys a much greater focus today than in previous years and having a corporate health plan is believed to provide a number of benefits for both employers and employees including:

    • An improved company culture
    • An increase in productivity
    • A reduction in absenteeism
      • A reduction in workplace accidents
      • Attraction and retention of better employees
      • More healthy employees through health and wellbeing programs

Who offers corporate policies in Australia?

The following are just a few of the Australian health insurers currently offering corporate health plans. Open health funds allow anyone to apply for cover, while restricted funds only allow people from specific groups, industries or organisations to apply for membership.

Health fundFeatures of corporate plans offered by open health funds
HIF LogoHIF corporate health plans include the standard benefits you would expect such as the freedom to choose your healthcare providers and access to over 500 hospitals across Australia, as well as:

  • Rebates of up to 100% for common preventative dental treatments.
  • No hospital co-payments.
  • A SmartClaim mobile app for easy claiming.
  • Competitive quotes on travel insurance.
  • Access to a range of healthy lifestyle benefits including weight loss programs, yoga, pilates, gym memberships, cancer screenings and quit smoking programs.
HCFHCF’s corporate plans offer both hospital and extras policies:

  • Corporate Basic, Corporate Mid, Executive and Ultimate hospital cover with no excesses for kids and access to a wide range of health and wellbeing programs.
  • Basic, Lifestyle, Essentials, Active Lifestyle, Lifestyle Plus and Ultimate extras cover policies, which include 100% back on two dental checks per year, initial physio, chiro, osteo and podiatry consultations and certain spectacles and lenses.
NIB Logonib corporate plans offer a choice of combined hospital and extras policies:

  • Basic Saver, Family Basic Saver, Basic Plus, Mid Plus, Family Plus, Top and Premier Plus hospital and extras cover (Premier Plus includes $5,500 worth of extras paid back at 85% of the cost).
BupaBupa corporate health plans provide a range of benefits to members including:

  • Up to 90% back on general dental and selected optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic services.
  • Group autopay for easy premium payments.
  • A Bupa Corporate Customer Card for easy claims, discounts at Hoyts, Event Cinemas and Goodlife Health Clubs.
  • A 24-hour Overseas Health Advice Line when travelling.
GU HealthGU Health corporate plans offer both hospital and extras policies:

  • Hospital cover includes hospital accommodation, theatre fees in a public or partner private hospital, benefits for a wide range of inpatient services and an Access Gap Cover scheme.
  • Extras cover includes a range of treatments with varying benefit limits, plus GU Health members can enjoy a wide range of partner discounts including clothing and accessories, travel insurance and hampers.
HBFHBF’s corporate plans offer a choice of hospital and extras cover which include:

  • Saver Hospital, Super Saver Hospital, Mid Family Hospital and Top Hospital cover.
  • Flexi Extras and Flexi Extras Saver extras cover with your choice of 10 services that you can change as your needs change.
  • HBF corporate members can also save up to 12% on hospital and extras cover and get up to 52 weeks complimentary health cover if you go on sick leave without pay.
medibankMedibank corporate plans include:

  • Hospital cover with no hospital excesses for kids.
  • Flexible extras cover with a combined limit of $1,500 to spend at any recognised provider and a separate $300 limit for optical.
queensland country health fund provider linkQueensland Country Health’s corporate plans include:

  • Public, Singles and Couples, Intermediate and Top hospital cover (Top includes a choice of excess).
  • Young, Singles and Couples, Essential and Premium extras cover (Premium provides generous benefit limits for 13 different services).
Health fundFeatures of corporate plans offered by restricted health funds
CBHS Health Fund LogoCBHS corporate plans offer both hospital and extras policies:

  • Bronze, Silver and Gold Hospital cover (Gold includes gap cover up to 100% of amounts in excess of the MBS fee, boarder accommodation for a friend or relative up to $160 per admission and Hospital Substitute Treatment at home by a registered nurse).
  • Bronze, Silver and Gold Extras cover (Gold includes unlimited preventative dental, higher overall limits on major dental, optical, physio, chiro and therapies and wellness benefits for health management).
navyhealthlogoNavy Corporate Health plans offer:

  • Comprehensive hospital cover with the choice of a $200 or $500 excess and a $200 refund on any excess paid.
  • Extras cover includes a choice of levels from Basic Extras to Premium Extras, which can be taken out in conjunction with hospital cover.
rthealthlogoRT’s corporate plans include:

  • Public, First Start, Step Up, Smart and Premium hospital cover (Premium has no restrictions or exclusions).
  • Value, Smart and Premium extras cover (Premium includes cover for orthodontics).

Who can join these funds?

      • CBHS Health Fund. Open to employees, contractors and franchisees of Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group as well as their partners and family members, including dependent and non-dependent children, siblings, parents and grandchildren.
      • Navy Health. Open to current and former members, reservists and cadets of the ADF, employees of the DoD, Defence suppliers and more. Extended family as well as the ex-partner/spouse of those previously mentioned are also eligible to join.
      • rt health fund. Open to current or former employees of Government or privately owned transport (air, sea, land) and energy generation/delivery entities, as well as those involved in administering them. Extended family of eligible members can also join.

How to choose a policy?

Choosing the right corporate health plan can be hard for an employer. There are myriad options offered by a host of insurers and you need to know what sort of plan will be attractive and beneficial to your workforce.

You also have to decide whether you will fund the health plan yourself, share funding with your employees or let them pay for it all. Your decision will depend on factors such as:

      • The number of employees you have (voluntary plans require a minimum of 500).
      • How willing they will be to participate.
      • Whether you have the time, money and resources to manage the policy if you choose to fund it yourself.

That’s why, when comparing policies, it’s important to not only look at the discount you’ll receive and the employee incentives and benefits, but the level of management being offered along with the policy. Some insurers have whole teams dedicated to implementing and running corporate healthcare plans, including educating employees and organising health and wellbeing programs. If you don’t have a lot of resources to throw at it yourself, a managed plan such as this might be your best option.

Common misconceptions

There are a few common misconceptions about corporate health plans that prevent some employers from considering them. Let's dispel the myths so you can make a more informed decision as to whether corporate health insurance can benefit your business.

The mythThe reality
  • Corporate health insurance policies are too complicated
  • Some employers think they wouldn’t have the time and resources to manage a corporate plan, when in fact the administration could easily be handled through a broker or even through the health fund itself.
  • Corporate health insurance are only suitable for big businesses
  • The term “corporate” alienates some SMEs who think these health plans would be too hard to implement and run on a small scale, when in fact the opposite is often the case.
  • Corporate health insurance will cost you too much money
  • Some employers think corporate health plans require large sums of money to fund, when in fact, they can be tailored to fit any business budget. And when compared with the cost of replacing employees if they become unwell, it could be seen as an asset rather than an expense.

Can small businesses take out corporate policies?

As mentioned above, some small businesses shy away from corporate health plans, believing them to be only for large companies with a lot of employees. A corporate health plan can, in fact, benefit a business of any size due to the fact that it can be tailored to fit the available budget, the number of employees and the preferred type of funding.

If an employer is time poor, the administration can be taken care of by a broker, whose can help you by:

  • Finding the right plan that fits the businesses requirements.
  • Educating both employer and employees on its workings.
  • Providing an ongoing point of contact for advice and assistance and reducing costs.
  • Minimising risks and increasing the quality of the cover over time.

Are there other methods of improving employee health?

As well as providing affordable health insurance through a corporate health plan, employers can improve workplace health in a number of other ways including:

      • Identifying and eliminating sources of workplace stress such as harassment and bullying.
      • Improving the workplace environment by upgrading things like lighting and ergonomics and providing relaxation areas for breaks.
      • Recognising and rewarding good work and providing opportunities for advancement.
      • Creating a better work/life balance by providing more flexible hours or the option to work from home.
      • Choosing a corporate health plan that offers free or discounted access to health and wellbeing services and programs or initiating your own program for employees.

Do you qualify for a corporate discount?

Many people mistakenly believe that they wouldn’t qualify for a corporate discount on health insurance, when in fact there are a number of ways you can receive a discounted health plan. These include:

    • Through your employer and in some cases a previous employer
    • Through your super fund
    • Through an association or a club you belong to
    • Through your mutual bank or credit union
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