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Putting customers first during pandemic is paramount for Medicash

Medicash, one of the UK’s leading health cash plan providers, has continued to build on its strong 2019 results to deliver value to its policyholders despite the coronavirus pandemic.   by Paula Pereira | Tuesday 13th October 2020

Over the last seven years Medicash has seen a resurgence, doubling its policyholder base to just short of 300,000 at the end of June 2020. It puts this success down to its customer focused approach, continued product development and investment in technology.

The investment in customer service has been recognised by Medicash’s 5* Trustpilot rating of 4.8/5.0 and retention of the top Gold Award with Investor in Customers. This despite the recent fundamental change in working practices owing to Covid-19.

2019 saw over 90,000 new policies sold, a 14% increase compared to the previous year, and premium income receipts increasing by £2.3m to reach £29.8m. Claims also increased to nearly 500,000, with the majority submitted directly via the Medicash app.

This trend has continued into the first half of 2020. Quarter 1 saw Medicash deliver its strongest ever quarterly sales, followed by further significant sales in the second quarter.

With the issues caused by lockdown, many employers are recognising the need to invest in the health and mental wellbeing of their employees with 70% of all new business written between April and June coming from companies who previously had no cash plan in place.

Last October Medicash enhanced and relaunched its market leading Proactive and Plus health plans, with benefit limit increases and new benefits such as unlimited Virtual GP appointments for employees, all without increasing premiums.

In November, it appointed Care first as its new Employee Assistance Programme supplier, allowing policyholders to access unlimited telephone counselling, and up to 8 face-to-face counselling sessions, as well as introducing Woebot, an AI Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based app.

Through this app users can track their mood, identify patterns, and gain insight into issues or concerns that they may not have realised were causing them emotional distress. Woebot can also instantly connect the user to a trained human counsellor when it is identified that additional support is required.

Paul Gambon, Sales & Marketing Director at Medicash said: “We have seen more employers actively seeking out cost effective ways to support both the physical and mental wellbeing of their workforce, as many workers and businesses have had to adapt to working from home for the first time. The impact of the pandemic has highlighted the importance of investing in the wellbeing of employees more than ever.

“Our updated Employee Assistance Programme with access to Woebot has been particularly important in helping to support workers mental and emotional wellbeing during these unprecedented times, whilst our launch of new benefits such as the SkinVision and mProve YOURSELF apps have added value to our customers at a time when it is harder to access some of the more traditional cash plan benefits.”

In June Medicash brought forward the launch of SkinVision, a skin cancer screening app that allows users to assess their skin spots and moles for the most common causes of skin cancer via their smartphone and receive a risk indication within 30 seconds. Medicash are the first UK health insurer to include this benefit in its corporate health plans. 

Medicash also launched its mProve YOURSELF app containing a wide range of wellbeing tools and advice to help users improve their body and mind. The app allows users to access a 30-day beginners guide to a mindful life course; a range of guided meditations and breathing exercises; over 70 fitness and resistance training videos; and a range of mental wellbeing courses with information on how to cope with stress, depression, anxiety and looking after your own mental health. Both new services have been introduced at no additional cost to policyholders.

Andy Roberts, Finance & IT Director at Medicash said: “Medicash delivered a strong performance in 2019 which we have carried over into 2020. Medicash understands the struggles and pressures that most employers and employees have been feeling over the last six months and have actively worked to launch new benefits to market earlier than originally planned. This demonstrates Medicash’s strategy to develop and enhance its digital offering on top of the more traditional cash plan benefits, ensuring that our plans are even more accessible to our policyholders.”

Moving to a fully cloud based IT operating environment meant that Medicash was able to continue delivering exceptional service with minimal disruption when the full lockdown came into effect in March. The investment in systems enabled Medicash’s workforce to work from home without impacting the customer service it prides itself on.

Andy Roberts continues: “As an organisation with a strong financial base, we took the decision not to furlough any employees, but rather to focus on improving our service still further by implementing new customer centric projects. These included creating and implementing a vulnerable customers process; producing a Home Working Guide, in association with our sister company, Health@Work; contacting policyholders to suggest better ways of receiving their claim payments; and issuing regular tips and information to our corporate clients about how to look after staff wellbeing during challenging times.”

In addition to its health plans and excellent customer service, Medicash also prides itself on the role it plays in supporting the community through The Medicash Foundation. In 2019 over £660,000 was donated to help support charities and health and wellbeing related projects across the North West and further afield.

In the first six months of 2020 the Medicash Foundation has donated a further £370,000, including £100,000 of vital PPE for the NHS, North West Ambulance Service and local care homes and £165,000 to help charities suffering from lost income due to the lockdown and those launching specialist initiatives to help their communities during the pandemic.

Sue Weir, Chief Executive of Medicash concludes: “Everyone at Medicash is proud of the part they have played in supporting our policyholders and corporate customers over recent months. In addition, we felt that it was only right that we play our part through our Charitable Foundation to buy and donate essential PPE. We will continue to do all we can to provide support to those who need it most.”

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