What are the rules on the reimbursement of costs for dental care, new glasses or a scan? You can’t claim for these ‘ambulatory costs’ on your hospitalisation insurance, and your health insurance fund will only provide limited reimbursement. Because ambulatory costs can be high, 43% of Belgian employers now offer an ambulatory plan that covers these costs. In the latest episode of our video podcast 'Succes Verzekerd', insurance expert Bert Van den Broeck talks about the importance and benefits of this insurance for employers and employees.
Growing Popularity of Outpatient Care Plans – Importance of a Sound Comparison
Outpatient care plans for employees have gained popularity in Belgium in recent years. In 10 years’ time the number of employers offering an outpatient or dental care plan has doubled. More and more employers are recognizing the importance of an outpatient care plan for their employees in order to distinguish themselves on the labour market.
Because an outpatient or dental care plan constitutes a tangible benefit for employees, it is also a distinctive way to position yourself as a caring employer. In addition, you obviously have every interest in ensuring that your employees stay healthy through more accessible and affordable health care.
Hospitalisation insurance has been widespread for many years. However, due to health policy developments an increasing number of medical costs are not covered by hospitalisation insurance since more and more often medical treatments, procedures and examinations are no longer carried out in hospital but on an outpatient basis. Besides, in recent years ever more attention is being paid to preventive care and well-being: employees are increasingly aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and are more likely to call upon doctors and experts for help. Expensive dental care such as orthodontics and dental prostheses, with costs mainly borne by the patient, only increases the importance of outpatient care insurance.
Did you know that more than two thirds of the medical costs borne by patients are outpatient costs? And that an outpatient costs insurance is being used ten times more often than a hospitalisation insurance, making this a much more tangible benefit for your employees? Further details can be found in this blog. With a handy app, submitting medical costs moreover becomes child’s play.
And the cost? This depends on the guarantees and the coverage limit. You can either take out a full outpatient care plan for your employees or a dental care plan only. You can determine the maximum amount and percentage of the outpatient care costs to be reimbursed per year. The sectoral salary margin of 0.4% may eventually be used to implement such a plan. Your account manager can draw up various options for a customised plan.
An outpatient or dental care plan provides a clear added value to your employees. They receive, as it were, a ‘cash’ benefit that they can use on a daily basis. But obviously an outpatient care plan has to be experienced as such by the employees themselves or it will fail to achieve its objective.
The Importance of an Objective Comparison
To avoid that this additional salary benefit proves to be nothing more than an empty shell, an objective comparison of the different outpatient care plans on the market is essential. After all, premium and benefits are determined by various elements, such as the selected guarantees and possible exclusions, the annual reimbursement limits, the reimbursement percentages, waiting periods, etc. A detailed comparison gives you the opportunity to examine which outpatient guarantees best suit your HR policy and budget, and whether you would opt for a full outpatient care plan or a dental care plan.
Being an employer, you strive to ensure that your employees are healthy and happy. Unfortunately, they sometimes encounter mental problems. At such times easily accessible care is of crucial importance to them. Fortunately, today’s insurers are no longer merely covering the cost of medical care or providing medical assistance. They are increasingly focusing on the mental wellbeing of your employees and offer a range of additional services to this end.
Hybrid working gained momentum with the corona crisis. Cross-border employment relationships may experience issues with regard to the applicable social security system with a corresponding impact on the employee benefit plans regarding pension, disability and health care coverage for your employees.
As an independent business owner, it is important to invest your funds in a tax-efficient manner with the prospect of a nice return. It is recommended to find a clever way of handling the excess reserves rather than letting them evaporate in the corporate account. But what are good and tax-efficient alternatives for your available funds besides the standard supplementary pension schemes such as EIP and PLCI?
Any further questions about the implementation of an outpatient care plan? Please contact your Account Manager Employee Benefits or Consultant Health Care at Vanbreda Risk & Benefits. They will be happy to provide further advice and guidance.