Safeguarding your health & wellbeing

Richard Gould, Director of CLA Healthcare, explains how the current Covid-19 crisis may affect healthcare cover and offers advice on how to safeguard your mental health and wellbeing

In these current times, many CLA members will be worried about their health and their families & loved ones. And with the global Covid-19 situation constantly changing and differing advice being given, many people are anxious about what they should do to safeguard their health and wellbeing.

For rural businesses there are questions and concerns about what this all means for them and their employees, now and in the longer term. Even the best prepared companies are unlikely to have all the answers.

We’ve received calls and queries from a number of CLA members - both individual and business members - about what this means for their healthcare cover and what practical steps they can take to look after their health and wellbeing during these challenging times. Here’s a quick update and details of resources that might be helpful.

Private medical insurance

On the 30 March, all private hospitals in England reallocated almost their entire hospital capacity to the NHS to fight the Covid-19 outbreak, releasing an extra 8,000 beds in England and Wales, almost 1,200 ventilators and 20,000 fully qualified staff. All capacity except for that required for clinical reasons, where it would not be safe to discharge, has been block-booked by the NHS.

If you have private medical insurance in place, you may have questions about what this means for you, how it could impact your policy and how you can access treatment if you need it. To help, we have created a helpful guide, which includes the most frequently asked questions. If you need any further clarification regarding your specific policy, please speak to the CLA Healthcare team for further guidance.

Virtual GPs

One useful tool that rural business might want to consider at the moment are virtual GPs. These services have been around for a while and are a popular and cost-effective inclusion in many employee benefit packages. They enable employees to speak to a GP over the phone or video call to get a diagnosis, second opinion, referral and/or private prescription.

Calls are usually 24/7, all year round so employees can book an appointment with a doctor at a time and place to suit them, giving them convenience and peace of mind that they can get the advice and support they want when they need it.

Some Private Medical Insurance (PMI) schemes already include this service as part of the policy so if you already offer PMI, it’s worth checking if you’ve already got access.

CLA Healthcare has a specialist GP service which is low-cost, quick and easy to implement. It offers employees and their families unlimited use from anywhere in the world. Employees can also use the app to discover useful health information or to find local healthcare services. Speak to us to find out more.

Mental wellbeing

Mental health is likely to become a priority for many members over the coming months. Social isolation and ‘cabin fever’ are a genuine risk to people’s mental wellbeing. Here are some practical ways to look after your mental wellbeing:

  • Mental health charity Mind has developed a free toolkit with tips and suggestions: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
  • For rural businesses, if you offer an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), take this opportunity to remind your employees about the service, how it can help and how to access it. Don’t forget, EAPs are often included within other policies as a value-added benefit so you may already have one available. If you’re not sure, ask your consultant who will be able to advise.
  • We have created a free guide with practical tips to help members deal with anxiety. Contact us to get a copy.

We recognise that these are challenging times. If you have any questions or want to know more, please get in touch with the CLA Healthcare team. 

For more information

Call 01274 717361 or visit healthcare@cla.org.uk

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