EMPLOYEE HEALTH BENEFITS WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT TO OUR INDUSTRY THAN EVER BEFORE
Many employers within our industry still do not offer health benefits for their colleagues and even more of them will not have anything in place for all of their employees to access. Some employers will have private healthcare for their colleagues in senior roles but have presumed that health benefits for all employees would be too expensive. As waiting lists get longer and the demand for health related benefits increases, there is another option to explore. HSF health plan is a health cash plan operating in Ireland since 1949. Their health plans can be offered as a voluntary employee benefit at no cost to the employer! Or as an employer subsidised benefit, starting from 2.37 per week!
We spoke with Mia Shepherd of HSF health plan, to understand why many of their customers describe them as the “best kept secret” and how they have been supporting employees and employers for decades in Ireland.
Mia explained that HSF health plan, is well established and have been working alongside employers in Ireland since 1949, partnering with organisations such as Todd Architects, KCR Builders providers, CIF, Office of Public Works (OPW) and ORS Building consultancy, to name a few.
Mia explained that employees quickly attribute a value to having HSF health plan, as they are able to claim for costs, such as dental check-ups, hygienist visits, eye tests, glasses, contact lenses, GP appointments and prescriptions putting money back in their pockets for these everyday healthcare costs. From an employer perspective, we know many people will be working with a restricted or even no budget for supporting their employees physical and emotional wellbeing.
An advantage here is that HSF health plan’s health cash plans can be offered as a voluntary benefit at no cost to the employer (but at a discounted rate for the employee) or as an employer funded benefit, starting from €2.37 per week. Many employers will highlight these plans within their recruitment material. The availability of both single person or family cover increases the appeal to employees who may wish to also cover their families.
Many employees will be amongst those on what are now in many circumstances long waiting lists for consultations, scans or tests causing anxiety and in some cases delaying any treatment which might be necessary. HSF health plan’s policyholders have been able to use their policy to claim for the costs of medical tests privately (a GP referral isn’t required by HSF health plan), empowering them to access these, often costly medical expenses and providing them with peace of mind. We know that many people in the industry work here from abroad and would travel abroad to access this treatment, causing disruption and possibly even putting them in a position where they do not return to work for the employer afterwards.
Also included within our health plans, or purchased as a standalone service, are video and telephone consultations with GP’s, Counselling and Emotional Wellbeing support and a telephone legal advice service, ensuring that people can easily access help 24 hours a day. We have partnered with many organisations within the construction industry, and being able to provide a telephone number to a group of employees to contact the counselling service has been invaluable to some of the HR Practitioners we work with. For employees, being able to schedule appointments around shifts and their own commitments is important and decreases disruption to the business there may be otherwise.
We also know that employers are keen to demonstrate that they partner with the right organisations. HSF health plan is the trading company of the charity The Hospital Saturday Fund. In 2020 The Hospital Saturday Fund made grants totalling €1.6 Million to charities in Ireland and the UK. More information can be found on their website The Hospital Saturday Fund The Hospital Saturday Fund.
All profits made by HSF health plan are channelled to The Hospital Saturday Fund. This allows us to support medically-associated charities and individuals in the form of grants.
“All those who join HSF health plan, just by belonging, are making a contribution to the important work of the charity, not something which usually happens when an insurance policy is taken out.”
Paul Jackson, Chief Executive, The Hospital Saturday Fund
Please see below a link to the introductory video about HSF health plan;
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine