Frequently asked questions
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Who are Equipsme?
Equipsme is FCA regulated, like a broker, and we develop our own products with insurers and service partners. We’re an intermediary, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, under the name Equipsme Insurance Services Ltd. We’re based in London and you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or arrange for a call back at 020 3965 6410.
We develop our own exclusive health insurance and wellbeing support plans, aimed specifically at businesses throughout the UK. We don’t sell personal policies to consumers.
Equipsme will act on behalf of insurers when promoting, selling and administering any insurance benefits in our plans.
Do you offer advice?
We’ll help you decide – but not tell you what to buy.
We provide all the key information about what is and isn’t covered by our plans and answer questions to help businesses decide what they want and need from an employee health insurance and wellbeing plan. As we distribute and sell our own products, we don’t review the whole market, so we can’t give recommendations or advice!
Equipsme Plans are available directly from us, or through certain Insurance Brokers. Your broker may be able to offer recommendations and advice.
What makes you different from other health insurers?
We’re digital, so you and your employees can do pretty much everything you need to online. We’ve focussed on the things we know people really value, which is why our plans include things like 24/7 GP access, and physio appointments.
We don’t have a long eligibility criteria, just an age range for people we’ll cover, and a three year pre-existing conditions exclusion.
We let individual employees manage their own plans and pay to add their family or extra cover if they need it.
We try and keep everything simple, transparent, and practical. Take a look at our why us page for more information.
Why should I get a business health insurance plan?
A business health insurance plan is considered an important employee beneﬁt by many organisations. Giving staﬀ quicker access to private medical treatments promotes productivity, wellbeing, less sick days and absenteeism.
Many employees appreciate working for a company that cares about their health, something that increases their loyalty to the organisation, especially when Equipsme allows partners and children to be included. Employees can pay separately to add their partner and children.
What is included in a business health insurance plan for Equipsme?
Depending on the level of cover you choose for your business, you will be able to access a range of health benefits and services, including:
- 24/7 GP Access – get a GP consultation by phone or video
- Physio sessions – from 5 per year up to no yearly limit
- Health checks – including blood tests, cholesterol, Vitamin D and diabetes
- Health support – private nurse helpline
- Diagnosis cover – Private diagnosis cover – specialist consultations, diagnostic tests, MRI and CT scans
- Private hospital treatment – cover for specialists, surgeons, hospital room, dressings and drugs
- Dental and optical – check-ups and treatment
- Stress support – telephone service, counselling and face-to-face sessions
Can I get cover without completing a medical questionnaire?
Yes, Equipsme oﬀers a business health insurance plan with no medical questionnaire required on application. This oﬀers a simple way for you to cover your staﬀ members with less admin involved.
All ages 16‑69 cost the same on plans for two or more employees (16‑59 for self‑employed businesses) and we have a simple exclusion of pre‑existing conditions in the three years before cover starts.
Do you offer a business health insurance plan for SMEs?
Yes, we offer business health insurance plans for many types of companies, including SMEs. Whether you are a self‑employed business owner, or have 2, 20, 50 or 1000 employees, you can create a health plan to suit your team.
How much does a business health insurance plan cost?
For businesses with employees, plans from Equipsme start from £8 per person, per month, with the option to upgrade to a higher level of cover to include extra physio sessions, diagnosis and treatment. There are two optional extras available to add to your plan: Stress Support is £1.50 per person per month and Dental & Optical is £8 per person per month. The price for a business health insurance plan is the same for all employees aged 16‑69, and employees can pay separately to add their partner and children.
For self‑employed business owners, there are two plans to choose from starting at £30 per month for a plan that includes diagnosis cover and for £48 per month you can add treatment. All plans include 24/7 GP access, as well as some physio sessions, stress support, a nurse helpline and an extended health check kit. All ages 16‑59 cost the same and there are no medical questions to apply, just a simple exclusion of pre‑existing conditions in the three years before cover starts.
About our plans
What are the different plan options?
Our plans are broken down so you can choose the level of cover you want for you and/or your staff, and also choose to bolt on extras like stress support and dental and optical options. Take a look at our Plans page for a full breakdown of benefits for each plan.
How does the GP service work?
Members can download the Equipsme App, and use it to request an appointment, any time of the day or night, subject to availability. You’ll speak to a GP on the phone, or by video call. They can talk through your condition, and even prescribe medication.
Do I have to pay for my prescriptions?
Yes. The price will depend on the medication you require and is usually more expensive than a standard NHS prescription.
However, you get the convenience of speaking with a GP quickly, and you can choose to get your prescription sent electronically to your local pharmacy to pick up your own medication, or to get it posted out to you directly.
How do diagnosis and treatment benefits work?
If you need to be referred to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment, you’ll be able to contact AXA Health directly to find out if your condition is covered and they can help you make your first appointment with an approved consultant.
Do Equipsme plans cover existing health problems?
Existing health conditions are covered when you use the GP services, the health check, stress support and dental and optical extras.
For physio, diagnosis and treatment, there is a 3 year pre-existing conditions exclusion. That means that if you’ve had any disease, illness or injury, or other symptoms that you have received medication, advice or treatment for in the 3 years before the start of the insurance cover – you’re not covered for these under your plan.
Our aim is to help protect you from unexpected health issues, and excluding pre-existing conditions means we don’t have to make everyone complete detailed health questionnaires or price variations based on the answers.
Are there any other health conditions that aren’t covered by Equipsme plans?
Yes, and full benefit and exclusion details are contained in your Membership Handbook. To help, we’ve included some of the main conditions we DON’T cover below. For any health queries you can always contact the Health at Hand phone line from AXA Health who can help and support you with any questions.
Cancer – we don’t cover cancer treatment, but we know the key thing with cancer is getting a fast diagnosis. So if your symptoms aren’t pre-existing and diagnosis is included in your plan, you’ll be able to get to the right specialist to help you find out faster. Then, for cancer treatment the dedicated cancer support nurses available under the Equipsme plan will guide you back into the NHS. That’s because treatment for cancer can be incredibly complicated. It’s expensive which could lead to higher prices in future, it requires a team of specialists working together – and we believe all of that is best co-ordinated by the NHS.
Pregnancy and childbirth – we do cover certain related conditions during pregnancy, but we don’t cover other anti-natal or midwifery care.
Mental health conditions – if stress support is part of your plan we can help with telephone and face-to-face counselling, but we can’t provide other psychiatric treatment or support.
Ongoing, recurrent and long-term conditions – we call these “chronic conditions”. Examples include things like Crohns’s Disease.
Overseas treatment – we don’t cover treatment received outside the UK.
What members of the family can be added by employees?
You can add your partner to your Equipsme plan if you’re married, in a civil partnership or living together permanently in a similar relationship. You can also add your children and your partner’s children (a maximum of 6 children can be added at a cost of 50%). Children can stay on the plan up to the age of 25 when they will come off the plan at the renewal date following their birthday.
How do I see my plan details?
You can see all your plan details and make changes to your account on our Equipsme members portal. When you’ve been added to the plan, you’ll get an email from us explaining how to set up your account and create a password. We’ll send a code to your mobile phone (just so everything is secure) and then you’ll be able to access the portal by going to the top right of the Equipsme homepage, and logging in.
How does Dental & Optical and Stress Support cover work?
These are optional add-on covers that can be bought as part of a company plan, and will apply to all employees on cover. It can’t be added by individual employees to their own plans.
If Dental & Optical is part of your Equipsme plan, it covers any family members you have added automatically. If stress support is added by your employer, it’s also available to your partner and any children over 16 included on your plan.
What do Equipsme plans cover with regard to cancer?
At Equipsme we focus our cancer support on early diagnosis but if cancer is diagnosed our plans do not pay for private treatment. We can help plan holders get a telephone or video appointment with a private GP, and depending on the chosen plan level get fast-track referrals for private diagnosis, see a private specialist/consultant, as well as helpline support with any questions if they have to go back into the NHS for treatment – all designed to help cut the waiting list for diagnosis which can also help speed up access to treatment back in the NHS
Terms and conditions do apply so if you are interested in an Equipsme plan we do recommend reading our full documentation. If you have any questions on what can be a complicated subject, please feel free to contact us. Find out more about our cancer cover here.
What taxes should businesses and employees be aware of?
Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) & VAT
Your Equipsme plan includes some health insurance benefits (which attract IPT) and some health services (which attract VAT). This means that IPT and VAT must be charged on certain portions of your price.
We therefore include both of these taxes (at the prevailing rate) in our monthly prices quoted.
Value Added Tax
Equipsme is registered for VAT.
If the company that pays for an Equipsme health insurance plan is also registered for VAT, we can provide the business with a VAT Invoice upon request.
Benefit in Kind (BIK) & P11D
Healthcare cover is one of the most popular benefits that employees want. It helps retain and motivate a healthy workforce, which can benefit business performance. When this is paid for by the employer, HMRC treats that ‘premium’ as extra earnings and will therefore charge income tax on it.
Employers confirm what they have paid to HMRC (via a P11D form) – or can register with HMRC to deduct the tax from payroll instead. Tax is charged at the employee’s current income tax rate (i.e. 20%, 40%, 45%, etc).
Please don’t forget though:
- You are only taxed on what the employer pays – not on anything you, the employee, pay for yourself
- If your employer buys our £33/mth plan – at 20% rate, your tax deducted may increase by about £7/mth but that is still only a fraction of the cost of a health insurance plan that provides access to private GPs, physio, diagnosis, treatment and a health check!
We’re not tax experts so it’s always best to discuss with an accountancy professional but we estimate the P11D costs per level for someone on 20% tax are as follows:
- GP+ £8/mth plan: Tax deduction of around £1.60/mth
- Level 3 £20/mth plan: Tax deduction of around £4.00/mth
- Level 2 £33/mth plan: Tax deduction of around £6.60/mth
- Level 1 £48/mth plan: Tax deduction of around £9.60/mth
National Insurance (aka Class 1A NIC)
Employers pay this on the cash value of taxable benefits (BIK) provided to their employees, other than for those employees earning below a certain minimum.
If your business is registered for Corporation Tax (CT), you may be able to offset against profits (as a business expense) the total you pay for the Equipsme plan for your employees. This business expense can include the National Insurance tax you pay for providing the benefit – and when CT is higher than NIC, this can result in a ‘net’ reduction in what you pay for the plan.
For example (based on figures as at April 2023):
- 10 employees on our £33/mth plan = £330/mth or £3,960 over a plan year
- PLUS Class 1A NIC (currently) at 13.8% = £546.48 over a plan year
- LESS Tax relief on CTax on profits (currently) 19% = (-£856.23) over a plan year
- Net effect being £3,960 + £546.48 – £856.23 = £3,650.25 over a plan year OR £30.42/mth per employee
The above may represent the typical tax treatments of company-bought benefits for employees (such as health insurance). We are not tax advisers so you should refer any specific questions about your own business circumstances to HMRC or your accountant.
Setting up your company plan
Do I have to cover the whole workforce?
Health insurance is a popular benefit with all employees, but you can choose how many people you can cover. It doesn’t need to be your entire workforce. Remember, once you’ve picked a cover level and bought your plan, you can’t change the level of cover for your organisation until renewal.
Can I select different plans for different employees?
Absolutely – you can mix and match cover to meet your budget and/or cover individual needs.
Can I add staff at any time?
Yes, an employer can add employees mid-term. Employees can then add their partners and children but can’t upgrade between levels until the next renewal.
How do I get a quote?
Just visit our get your price page and add your details. Alternatively, you can talk to your insurance broker.
Help, my quote has expired.
Whilst our quotes have an expiry date, if you want to go ahead at a later date just call us on 020 3965 6410.
How do I buy?
Once you’ve received your Equipsme quote you can log in and buy online. The quote email includes a link to the Equipsme portal, as well as details of how to set up your account. You can review and change your choices if required and complete a Direct Debit form from there.
Troubleshooting for business plan owners
How do I add or remove employees?
You can add or remove employees at any time from your Equipsme members portal. Log in as normal and select Make Changes to your plan.
To remove an employee, click remove next to the employee’s name, click ‘Request changes to your plan’ at the bottom of the page and then accept these changes.
To add an employee, click the Add employee at the top of the list, complete the details and click Update. Then choose, ‘Request changes to your plan’ at the bottom of the page and accept these changes.
If you have any problems, get in touch at email@example.com
How do I change my details?
You can change your business address or contact details at any time from your members portal. Log in as normal. Scroll down to ‘Request to change company details’, make the amendments and click on the Request button. If you have any problems, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m trying to add an employee, but the system won’t let me?
The plan will allow employees aged 16-69 to be added. They can remain on cover as long as the plan remains in force and they remain employed, but if they’re over 69 the system won’t let you add them. If you have any problems, get in touch at email@example.com.
I’ve got an accounts enquiry – who do I talk to?
If you have a query regarding your monthly direct debit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org where our accounts team will answer any queries you may have.
How do I renew?
Depending on your plan, the company administrator will receive renewal information 30-45 days before your renewal date. You can make changes to cover levels, add extra covers if available, and add or remove employees if applicable.
For companies with employees, your employees will then have THEIR annual 21-day window to decide whether or not to upgrade their own plans.
If you bought your plan through a broker, your broker may also be in touch with you before your renewal date to discuss your options.
How do I speak to my broker?
Your broker details are included at the top of your welcome email. You can contact them with any queries you may have however many answers to your questions will be included in this help centre.
Will my employees have to pay tax on this product?
Yes. This product is subject to P11D Benefit in Kind tax, and employers must factor this into their monthly payroll process.
The amount of tax will depend on each individual’s tax band but it will be lower than it would be for traditional Private Medical Insurance, if people are paying lower premiums.
We estimate that employees on a 20% tax band will pay about £6.60 per month in tax for their plan if their employer buys them Level 2 cover at £33 per month.
No P11D tax is payable on employee upgrades or for adding partner/children.
How do I cancel my plan?
When you buy your Equipsme plan, you will have a 14 day cooling off period. Should you wish to cancel your plan within this time, you can do so with a full return of premium, if you wish to cancel after this time you can do so but will be charged to a paid up date.
We will be sorry to see you go but if you do not wish to carry on with the plan please contact us via your Equipsme portal to make a cancellation request.
If you do not want to continue at renewal time please speak to your broker or contact us at email@example.com.
How do I make a complaint?
We take all complaints seriously and aim to resolve them fairly and promptly. If at any time you wish to complain about the plan contact us either in writing or give us a ring to discuss it on 020 3965 6410.
We will respond to your complaint as quickly as we can. If we are unable to get back to you straight away, we will contact you within 5 working days to explain the next steps.
We always aim to resolve complaints within 8 weeks from when you first tell us about your concerns. We’ll keep you posted every step of the way too. Contact us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Troubleshooting for staff members
I’ve received an email from Equipsme, what do I need to do next?
Your company has bought you an Equipsme health insurance plan. It means you can access all sorts of practical health benefits like a 24/7 GP, a nurse advice line, and physiotherapy appointments. Using the link in your email, log in to create your members account, see your plan benefits and make changes to your plan.
When will my plan start?
You’ll see your plan start date in your Welcome email. You’ll need to set up your account before the plan starts, so you can add your partner and children to your plan, if you want to.
What is an ‘OTP’ or passcode?
When you set up your account using the links in the email, you’ll be sent an OTP or one-time-passcode. This is a 5 or 6 digit code sent to the mobile number provided by your employer when they added you to the plan. We’ll send you a message that will allow us to verify your email address, and make sure we’ve got the right person! When you receive the passcode enter it, and you’ll be able to set up your members account on our portal, including a new password to access it.
If for any reason you don’t receive an OTP to your phone, email us at email@example.com and we’ll sort it out.
How do I add my family to my plan?
When you first log in to the Equipsme members portal to set up your account, you’ll be taken through your options. You can see what benefits your employer has bought for you (or you’ve bought for yourself if you’re self-employed). Now YOU can pay to add on extra benefits. That includes adding on your partner and children, so they get access to the same benefits you do. During the plan year, family can be amended, removed or new arrivals added.
Why am I being asked to enter my bank account details?
You’ll only be asked to enter direct debit details if you’ve chosen to increase your cover level or add family to the plan your employer has bought for you.
Help! I’ve forgotten my password!
Don’t worry! This happens to everyone. Click on ‘LOGIN’ which you can find in the main navigation bar on any page of our website. Below the login button is a reset/forgotten password link. Click this link and enter the email address which you registered with. You will then receive an email from us to help you reset your password! You must have set up an account with us before trying to reset a password. The link to setting up your account is in your welcome email.
Help! The system isn’t working!
Should you have difficulty logging in, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get in contact as soon as possible to help you.
Please note though, Equipsme has been built for modern browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox. It probably won’t work on an older Internet Explorer browser. As a first step if you’re having problems, try downloading Chrome and launching the website from there.
How do I change my details?
You can make amends to your account on the Equipsme members portal – including a change of address, or mobile number, or adding family members. Set up your account if you haven’t already done so, the details on how to do this are in your welcome email. Log in as normal. Below the icons which show your plan benefits select ‘Make Changes to your plan’. You will see everyone covered under your Equipsme plan. Click ‘edit’ and amend the details you wish to change. Once you are happy with the changes click ‘Request the Change’ and then click ‘Accept the Change’.
What happens to my plan if I leave my job?
As soon as you leave your employer or your Equipsme plan is cancelled, your employer will inform us and all cover for you (and your family if included) will stop on that date.
The Equipsme Health Insurance plan is exclusively available to companies to buy, and we’re really sorry, but we don’t have an individual continuation option.
We may, however, be able to pass your details onto AXA Health, with your permission. They can help you explore your options – but please note other health insurance plans may not provide the same benefits, choices or type of cover.
Using your plan
How do I make an appointment?
The best way to access your benefits and make appointments is from our Equipsme App. Download it onto your phone from the App Store or Google Play, enter your email address and password, and then follow the simple instructions to request your appointment.
I’m not sure what I can use my plan for, or when I should use it
The best place to start is to read your How to Use Your Plan guide, which you can find on the Equipsme members portal. It’s a guide with a simple flow diagram showing you what to do when!
We know you’re not a medical expert, so we won’t expect you to decide where is best to start. Just get in touch, and we’ll help you check what’s covered, and pick where and what to do next.
Can I choose my own Dr, physio or clinic?
Please don’t arrange your own physio appointments or consultations with a specialist. These appointments have to be made through AXA Health. You don’t want to pick a person or clinic that isn’t recognised under your plan and risk your bills not being covered!
Don’t worry, there is an approved medical network of medical professionals, diagnostic centres and hospitals you’re covered to use. The aim is always to limit your travel distance or make initial appointments by phone or video.
How do I make a dental or optical claim?
You can make your claim online. Log in to the Equipsme members portal or your App and click the icon which is relevant to your claim. You can complete the claim form and submit it. It will contain all of the reference numbers required.
How does a health check work?
After your cover has started, you’ll be encouraged to go through to set up a Thriva account. You’ll be asked to fill in some basic details online about your health, lifestyle and medical history. From here they’ll suggest some simple blood tests that you can order and complete at home (depending on the cover level).
How does the blood test work?
If you’ve requested a test or have one as part of your plan, you’ll be sent it through the post. It has full instructions on how to do a simple finger prick sample. This then goes back securely in the post, and you’ll be emailed with your test results. If there’s any action to be taken, you can discuss with your own GP or make an appointment with a GP through Equipsme.
When does my cover start and end?
Your Equipsme plan provides cover for a year. Your membership certificate will show the dates on which your cover starts and ends.
All premiums must continue up to date for your cover to continue.
If you join your company and the plan part way through the plan year, you may have less than 12 months until the renewal date.
What do you do with my personal data?
Please refer to your membership handbook and our privacy notice which can be found on our website.
In summary, we’ll only use your information in ways we’re allowed to by law, which means we only collect what we need, don’t sell it to 3rd parties, and will always get your consent to process medical information when it’s necessary to do so.