Setting up a health care cash plan within your workplace is a fantastic initiative to support employee health and wellbeing. It gives your staff the opportunity to claim money back on check-ups or treatments they may require – and a fit and healthy workforce means a more productive one too.1

But what if your staff don’t really understand how to use the cash plan you’ve set up? Or even worse, what if they don’t know it exists at all? Both could lead to you, as the employer, not getting the most out of your health care scheme.

To help your business and staff reap the benefits of implementing a cash plan, here are some ideas to help you raise awareness with your workforce.

1. Introduce a health initiative

A good way to get the most out of your health care cash plan is to actively promote health and wellbeing within your workplace. But depending on the size of your company and resources available, you may wish to tackle this in different ways.

Initiatives could range from running regular health related activities such as providing fresh fruit in the office every day to hosting mini-workouts in your office space, through to running a healthy eating campaign in the staff canteen offering healthier food choices, organising a running club or encouraging staff to enter a team in a local sporting event.

These activities can be complimented by running alongside regular health-orientated communications with different monthly themes.

This focus on healthy living will give you the ideal platform to promote the health care cash plan and encourage your employees to be proactive about their own health.

2. Tailor communication to your workforce

One challenge could be that your employees aren’t completely convinced that the treatments they may require will be covered by the cash plan – they may just think it’s just about claiming money back when you get a dental filling, for example. But if you highlight to your staff the range of benefits that are on offer, particularly those that may be relevant to their day-to-day work, they are more likely to take note.

For example, if you’re in an industry that involves manual labour or heavy lifting, your workforce may benefit from seeing a chiropractor or physiotherapist to help with any aches, pains or injuries. These treatments are generally covered by a cash plan so make sure you remind employees that they can claim money back for them.

3. Showcase how it works

This is arguably the area that brings the cash plan to life for your employees. The costs associated with certain treatments and procedures can seem rather daunting (for example, weekly visits to the physiotherapist), and could put your employees off seeking treatment.

Show your staff how much you’ve covered them for and how much they could get back on their treatments – if you haven’t got them already, you could ask your cash plan provider for posters or content for your intranet detailing the cash plan benefits to display in communal areas.

You could invite your cash plan provider into your workplace to help convey these messages. Having a delegate from your provider on-site will allow your employees to ask questions to the experts face to face, giving them a better understanding and confidence to use the scheme.

4. Offer flexible working for regular health checks

Offering your workforce time out from their working day to attend a health-related appointment is a great way to promote your cash plan and maintaining good health.

You don't need to give your staff the full day off – a late start, an early finish or perhaps a two-hour allowance in the day can be a welcome gesture.

Not only would this mean your staff are more likely to utilise their cash plan, but it could also benefit your business in the long run – it’s better to lose the odd working hour than losing days or weeks with an employee taking sick leave for an ailment they may have prevented with early treatment.

5. Helping your employees get back into the workplace

Cash plans aren’t just for physical ailments. Returning to work after prolonged absence can often be a stressful process, especially if the period of leave has been caused by a serious illness, injury or grievance. Cash plans such as  Asset from Sovereign Health Care, include access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) as standard, which gives employees access to confidential support, assistance and counselling to help them deal with a range of life events.

When conducting a return to work meeting, make sure you remind your employees about the services of the EAP so if they have any doubts or worries, they can speak to a trained advisor. If they’ve been off work due to an injury, they may benefit from visiting a physiotherapist for example, so remind them that with the cash plan they can claim money back towards these costs and aid their recovery.

If you haven’t already implemented a health care cash plan and would like to find out more, Sovereign Health Care has a range of cash plans available for businesses. To find out more click here.

1 Wall Street Journal https://www.wsj.com/articles/healthy-workers-are-more-productive-study-finds-1502219651

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