How can Private Health Insurance benefit small businesses?

  • 17 Jan 2019

By Mike Davis, Head of SME Direct, AXA PPP healthcare

When you own a small business, your team is vital to your success. When you recruit a new team member, it can take up a lot of your time and resource to find the right person that not only brings valuable skills and expertise, but is also a good fit for your team and your business.

When one of your team has to take time off of work due to ill health, it can have a big impact on your business. In 2018, 141.4 million working days were lost due to sickness or injury in the UK. Of these days, 27.2% were attributed to minor illnesses such as coughs or colds, 19.7% were due to musculoskeletal problems and 12.4% were due to mental health conditions (1).


Private health insurance aims to get you and your employees back to work quickly through prompt access to diagnosis and eligible treatment.

There’s a number of ways that private health insurance can benefit both your employees and your business.


Reduced time out of work

One of the primary benefits of private health insurance is that it can help reduce the amount of time that you and your employees need to take off from work due to ill health.  

Medical appointments can be inconvenient for your team to get to, particularly if they’re during the middle of the working day or are far away from the office or from home. With private health insurance, your team can be more in control of their appointments. Online GP services  can give you access to an online or phone appointment with a GP at a time and location that is most convenient for you. Should you need to see a specialist, you can avoid the waiting lists and get an appointment with a specialist quickly. 


Alongside having prompt access to diagnosis and treatment, you and your team will also benefit from having greater choice as to where you receive treatment. There’s also the added benefit of a private hospital room, should you need to stay in hospital overnight. Amenities such as free WiFi, a greater choice of food and free parking for you and your visitors are usually available in private hospitals, meaning that your stay will be as comfortable as it can be. 

Employee retention and recruitment

When you own a small business, offering private health insurance to employees can be beneficial in both aiding staff retention and reducing the turnover of your team. Not only is it a highly attractive benefit for your people to have, but it also shows that you’re investing in their health and wellbeing which can be a great way to boost morale.

Offering health insurance can also help to attract high calibre new recruits. When your business means so much to you, it’s important that you’re able to hire the best candidates and offering private healthcare cover as an employee benefit can be a highly attractive incentive for potential recruits. According to one survey, 48% of employees rank private health insurance in their top three most valued benefits (2). This shows that salary isn’t the sole deciding factor for employees when comparing jobs, and being able to offer benefits such as private health insurance can be a big competitive advantage when it comes to retaining existing team members and hiring new recruits. 


Increased productivity

When employees feel that their work makes a difference to the organisation that they work for, and that they’re cared for and supported by their employer, they tend to be more inclined to work harder for their employer than if they felt insignificant to an organisation. According to a study by the University of Warwick, happy employees were 12% more productive (3). Investing in employees’ wellbeing can therefore help to boost productivity levels due to a healthier and happier team. 

Not only can it help to boost staff morale, having private healthcare cover could also help to reduce both absenteeism and presenteeism. Presenteeism occurs when employees turn up for work despite being unwell or suffering from other medical conditions. According to a recent CIPD survey, 86% of respondents said they had observed presenteeism in their organisation over the last 12 months (4). This can be just as damaging to a business as absenteeism, as it can result in a big reduction in productivity for the employee in question.

Look after your own health

With so much on your mind when you’re a small business owner, it’s easy to forget about the importance of your own health and wellbeing when you’re in charge of your business and your team. But, as the owner of the company, you play a pivotal role in not only the day to day running of the business, but also the future strategy and direction. Therefore, it can be particularly frustrating when you aren’t able to work due to ill health, especially when you’re placed on a waiting list to receive treatment and don’t know how long you’ll be away from work for. 


With private healthcare cover, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you can skip waiting lists and get prompt access to eligible treatment meaning that you can get back to work quickly, minimising the impact on your business.

AXA PPP healthcare cover

At AXA PPP healthcare, we think that the best way for you to get the healthcare cover that's right for your business and your budget is to let you build your plan yourself. That's why we offer a range of cover options that you can select from, so you only pay for the cover you need*.

No matter which options you choose, you'll have access to our 24/7 online GP service, [email protected] (provided by Doctor Care Anywhere), included as standard. With [email protected], you and your team can get a 20 minute online or phone appointment with a GP at a time and place that works for you - 24/7, 365 days a year. Appointments are subject to availability. Fair usage policy applies.

Find out more about our small business health insurance, including what we do and don't cover, and get a quote today

*If you are buying cover for 1-2 people only, you will need to include either Treatment or Diagnostics Only in your plan.

Sources and references

1 Office for National Statistics, 2019
2 Employee Benefits, 2017.
3 University of Warwick, 2015.
4 CIPD, 2018.
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